Saturday, February 6, 2016

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

"The Sustainable Development Goals contain a specific target calling for an end to FGM. When this practice is fully abandoned, positive effects will reverberate across societies as girls and women reclaim their health, human rights and vast potential." Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General. 

Pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/146, February 6 is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM consists of all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.  FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.  Despite this fact, it is estimated that 200 million women and girls have undergone some form of FGM.

According to a UN website, FGM "reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death."  Most girls undergo the procedure before the age of 15.

For these reasons, the UN has included the elimination of FGM among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Accordingly, the 2016 theme for this day is "Achieving the new Global Goals through the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030."

More information on this topic may be found here.


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