UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

UNFPA and UNICEF jointly lead the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM). The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme harnesses the complementary expertise of the two agencies, with governments and often in close collaboration with grass-roots community organizations and other key stakeholders, backed by the latest social science research. 

The FGM Joint Programme achievements at a glance

  • Provision of appropriate and quality services: More than 3.2 million girls and women in the 17 countries supported by the Joint Programme have benefited from FGM-related protection and care services.
  • Increased community-led engagement: As a result of community-led engagement through education, dialogue and consensus-building, more than 31.5 million individuals in over 21,700 communities have made public declarations on the abandonment of FGM.
  • Legal and policy frameworks: 13 countries supported by the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme have legal and policy frameworks banning FGM. Following intensive capacity development initiatives, to date, there have been more than 900 cases of legal enforcement. Public statements at all levels have announced that FGM is a human right issue and must be stopped. Such statements provide the political backing required to strengthen the community-wide efforts and initiatives. 
  • Government ownership: All 17 countries supported by the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint programme have a national coordination mechanism in place to systematically engage all actors at the national level. Twelve countries established a national budget line funding services and programmes to specifically address FGM.

The time to act is now

Over 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM. In 2015, an estimated 3.9 million girls were cut. In 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and data are available, an estimated 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 unless concerted and accelerated action is taken.

Phase III of UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to Eliminate FGM

Starting in 2018, UNFPA and UNICEF are continuing the joint effort, integrating complementary interventions even more systematically under a new phase of the Joint Programme. The joint action builds on valuable lessons learned and is directly linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, which aims to end all harmful practices by 2030. The focus continues to be on countries with highest FGM prevalence, with the aim of shifting social norms in affected communities while working with governments to put in place viable national response systems.

Targets for Phase III include:

  • 8 million girls and women will receive appropriate FGM-related services
  • 19 million people in over 10,000 communities will publicly declare abandonment of FGM
  • 16 countries will have a national budget line and monitoring mechanism
  • Regional and sub-regional political organizations will be mobilized to enhance national efforts
  • The availability of a global online knowledge hub

Join the effort

UNFPA and UNICEF welcome funding commitments from the public and private sector to help reach a resource target of $77 million, for the period 2018 to 2021, which is required to meet the Joint Programme's objective of accelerated change.

Commitments to the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation will improve and expand our work, which currently is supported by a range of generous donors, including the European Union, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

For further information on the Joint Programme, please contact Wanda Rodriguez

Updated 6 February 2018.