Statement

06 February 2012

Renewing Commitment to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Message of UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Every year, over three million women and girls face the risk of genital mutilation and cutting. The practice has serious immediate and long-term health effects, and it is a clear violation of fundamental human rights.

Worldwide, 100–140 million have already undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). It has become a global problem requiring immediate and targeted solutions.

UNFPA and UNICEF work together in supporting communities to put an end to FGM/C. Through partnerships with governments, civil society organizations, religious leaders and community groups, we are making real progress.

In three years, more than 8,000 communities in Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia have abandoned the practice.

Social norms and cultural practices are changing, and communities are uniting to protect the rights of girls and women.

On the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, I call on the global community to join us in this critical effort. Together, we can end FGM/C in one generation and help millions of girls and women to live healthier, fuller lives, and reach their potential.

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