According to the recent WHO reports, it is estimated that more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation. And around 3 million girls are at risk of going through FMG every year. Most of these girls are cut before they turn 15. To spread awareness on the matter, the UN has decided to organize their event on FGM which is known as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on the 6th of February, 2021
Substantial progress has been made in removing harmful activities, but much is required, and much more effectively, if we are to finally put an end to this terrible practice for once and for all.
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What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes all operations involving the modification or injury of female genitalia for non-medical purposes and is globally recognized as a violation of the rights, wellbeing, and dignity of women and girls. Young women who experience female genital mutilation face many short-term risks that affect their health such as extreme discomfort, pain, heavy bleeding, inflammation, and difficulties in passing urine, and also long-term implications for their reproductive wellbeing and mental health.
Several common explanations are underlying FGM, most of which have to do with socio-cultural conventions. FGM is also seen as an integral part of a girl’s upbringing; it is viewed as a way to train her for maturity and marriage. Women are much more likely to get married in all of these cultures if FGM has been practiced on them. There is a misconception that a woman would be less inclined to have premarital sex and to be unfaithful in marriage if her genitals are severed, changed, or sewn up due to the resultant embarrassment or humiliation. Unfortunately, this societal stoicism and paranoia is the guiding force behind the persistence of this activity, which is a violation of basic human rights.
At least 200 million women and girls currently alive have witnessed female genital mutilation in 30 countries with comprehensive prevalent evidence. In each of these nations, the remainder of the girls had been cut prior to age 5. While FGM is primarily practiced in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, it is also practiced in certain refugee communities in which are present in the European region, North America and Australia: 200,000 FGM survivors reside in Europe. The incidence in Sweden has been among the largest in Europe, as the country is home to several refugees from communities where FGM is standard practice.
In 2014, 17-year-old Bristol student Fahma Mohamed sent a petition to Change.org on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, urging Michael Gove who was the then Secretary of Education in the United Kingdom, to respond to the representatives of all main and secondary schools which were present in the United Kingdom, requesting them to be aware to the risks of FGM.
The proposal was received by more than 230,000 supporters and became one of the fastest rising signatures from the United Kingdom on Change.org. Michael Gove met Fahma Mohamed including representatives of the Integrate Bristol Youth Community, who have played an important role in educating people regarding FGM.
UN’S Take on FGM Awareness
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This very day is being observed to raise awareness of the situation and to promote serious action against the problem.
To observe the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, UNFPA is conducting an exposition that focuses on unethical traditions that are still common in many regions of the world. The meeting will occur at the UN Headquarters.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2021
In the year, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Initiative on the Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation and the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC) jointly launch the theme for the 2021 event which is known as “No Time for Global Inaction, Unite, Fund, and Act to End Female Genital Mutilation.”
Ending FGM by 2030
Ending female genital mutilation includes work at several stages, from discussion and intervention between individuals and society to security and treatment of young women, policy, and regulation, and civic awareness at the state, federal places, and communities both nationally and internationally. Abolishing female genital mutilation is a crucial move towards achieving other Sustainable Development Goals, that concentrate on women’s rights, good health and well-being, healthy parenthood, decent education, sustainable communities, and productivity expansion.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic adversely and overwhelmingly impacted children and women, culminating in a shadow pandemic that undermined the SDG 5.3 goal to eradicate all adverse activities, like female genital mutilation. UNFPA reports that a further 2 million girls are expected to have been at risk of female genital mutilation by 2030. In reaction to this instability, the United Nations, via its UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Initiative, has adapted actions to guarantee the elimination of female genital mutilation in the socioeconomic and post-crisis answer.
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This is all about International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. There is an outcry against FGM rising all over the world, people are coming out and demonstrating against the procedure. The anguish and secrecy surrounding FGM are being questioned. When knowledge expands and support increases, we will see a change in mindset. Check out Leverage Edu for more articles on awareness and change! Follow us on Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Quora and Facebook for more educational content.