International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, February 6

Female Genital Mutilation or FGM, a very inhumane practice done by certain societies globally can neither be accepted nor tolerated.

FGM has been declared a violation of human rights. 

Female Genital Mutilation is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. It can also be defined as any forced injury caused to the female genital area for non-medical reasons. This evil blemish is practised on young girls between infancy and 15 years of age.The World Health Organisation has banned FGM from looking at the damage it causes to the female body. . The practice of FGM causes reproductory problems, urination problems and the worst; it may even cause death.

Data by WHO suggests that about 200 million girls and women have been prey to this evil practice in various parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The probable reason people believe and practice such a custom is that they feel it is the right way to raise girls for adulthood and at a later stage; marriage. These societies practice FGM to control a women’s sexual activity and relations excluding the ones they seem to have with their husbands and giving birth to their children.  

To diminish Female Genital Mutilation, the UN General Assembly declared February 6 as the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It aims to eliminate this practice across the world. As mentioned by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “Together, we can eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030. Doing so will have a positive ripple effect on the health, education and economic advancement of girls and women.” the UN aims to eliminate FGM by 2030. 

Since 2008, UNICEF and UNFPA(United Nations Population Fund) has led a huge and the world’s most extensive programme to accelerate FGM elimination.This partnership has been able to help many communities establish surveillance structures to track girls and protect them from being  prey to this practice. They have successfully saved 213,774 girls from being mutilated. 

Raising awareness about Female Genital Mutilation is the need of the hour. By doing that, we can help thousands of females to have a voice of their own and control over their lives. Such an inhumane practice has to be banned by every country which will help with the development of women. Societies need to engaged together to focus on human rights, gender equality, sex education, and to pay attention to the needs of the victims of this practice.

 Let all of us raise our voices against this evil blemish that still exists in our society and help women and girls live a life of freedom and dignity.

-Rukmini Salodkar

FY BSc. Economics

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