In the News

29 February 2012

Executive Director, Angelique Kidjo Call for an End to Female Genital Mutilation

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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo and UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin at a press conference in support of Global Efforts to End Female Genital Mutilation.
Photo: UNICEF/JC McIlwaine

UNITED NATIONS, New York --- A senior United Nations official and the renowned singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo today urged all UN Member States and communities to outlaw female genital mutilation/cutting and raise awareness about its harmful effects, especially in African countries where the practice is most prevalent.

Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, told a news conference at UN Headquarters that many communities are increasingly abandoning FGM/C thanks to the use of “culturally sensitive, human rights-based approaches that support the positive values within communities that want the best for their girls and women.”

Over the past three years, some 8,000 communities across the world, including in 15 African countries, have abandoned the practice, he said. Last year alone 2,000 communities declared that they will no longer allow the human rights violation to continue.

“It is truly heartening that social norms and cultural practices are changing and communities are uniting to protect the rights of their girls and women,” said Mr. Osotimehin.

Read the full story, and see the video, at the UN News Centre