On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, join us in calling for the acceleration of investment to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and uphold the human rights of all females, said UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM with the aim of amplifying and directing efforts to eliminate this practice.
This year, the ‘UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM: Delivering the Global Promise’ launched its theme for 2022, ‘Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation.’
Many countries are experiencing a “crisis within a crisis” due to the pandemic including an increase in FGM. This is why the UN is calling on the global community to reimagine a world that enables girls and women to have a voice, choice, and control over their own lives.
For his part, Guterres explained that FGM is an abhorrent human rights violation that causes profound and permanent harm to women and girls around the world.
“Every year, over four million girls are at risk of this extreme form of violence. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on health services and put even more girls in jeopardy,” he said.
Guterres stressed that this flagrant manifestation of gender inequality must be stopped.
“With urgent investments and timely action, we can meet the Sustainable Development Goal target of eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030 and build a world that respects women’s integrity and autonomy.”
He said that the UN and its partners are supporting initiatives to shift the social norms that perpetuate this practice, adding that young people and civil society organisations are also making their voices heard, and lawmakers are advancing positive change in many countries.