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51 years of struggle against Female Genital Mutilation


 03.02.2016 - The 6th February will mark International Day of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with the theme of "Achieving the new Global Goals through the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030."


Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Key Facts:

  •  The procedure is known to have no health benefits for girls and women.An estimated, 100 million -  140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM globally.

  • 15 million additional girls between ages 15 and 19 be subjected to it by 2030 if the current trends continue.

  • It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.

  •  It causes severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of new-born deaths.


Towards a Brighter Future

For the first time female genital mutilation has been fully acknowledged on a global scale in its inclusion in Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equality, which commits the global community to ending the practice in conjunction with tackling issues such as early child and forced marriage.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) lead the largest global programme to acelerate the abandonment of FGM. They operate in all seven continents often collaborating with partners at the grass roots level to increase awareness of the health consequences in order to help families and communities realise that abandoning the practice is in their best interest.

Recognising FGM as a human rights issue and implementing policies to protect women from the practice has been a long and ongoing process, but, as the inclusion in the SDGs shows, there have been many achievements along the way.  

Join the international community in promoting the International Day of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Saturday February 6th with the slogan #endFGM and use our FGM timeline.


FGM Through Time

1965: Guinea becomes the first country to adopt a law against FGM

1990: The African charter for Children Rights and Welfare is adopted. It tackles the issue of FGM. It calls upon States to take appropriate measures to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices.

1993: FGM is recognized as a human rights violation at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.

1995: Global Women Conference in Beijing. A real consensus is found in favor of FGM’s abolition above the African and Western women associations. For the first time, the recognition of sexual rights as human right is officially claimed.

1997: First statement of WHO issued together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

•     Wider international involvement to stop FGM;

•     International monitoring bodies and resolutions that condemn the practice;

•     Revised legal frameworks and growing political support to end FGM (this includes a law against FGM in 24 African countries, and in several states in two other countries, as well as 12 industrialized countries with migrant populations from FGM practicing countries)

2001: The European Parliament released a report classifying the FGM as crimes.

2010: WHO published a "Global strategy to stop health care providers from performing female genital mutilation" in collaboration with other key UN agencies and international organizations.

2012:  the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the elimination of female genital mutilation.


UNRIC Related Links

· International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 

· UNFPA UNICEF Joint Programme

· Sustainable Development Goals  

· World Health Organisation on FGM

· UNICEF Statistical Overview

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