International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2023: Date, Theme, History, Significance & More

This day raises awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM), which is a violation of the human rights of girls and women. Without a doubt, it reflects inequality between the sexes and represents a form of discrimination against women. We tell you that it is mostly carried out on minors. It not only violates the person’s rights to health, safety and physical integrity but also the cruel, inhuman right to life when the procedures result in death.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2023: Theme

The theme for 2023 is “Partnering with men and boys to transform social and gender norms to end female genital mutilation.”

The main goal of the day is to end female genital mutilation within a decade and will require support from all sectors, especially young people. The theme therefore focuses on mobilizing young people around the elimination of harmful practices, including female genital mutilation.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: History

Against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the WHO issued a joint declaration in 1997 together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Since then, several efforts have been made to counteract female genital mutilation.

– The Joint Program on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting was initiated by UNFPA and UNICEF in 2007 to accelerate the abandonment of this practice.

– WHO, together with nine other UN partners, issued a declaration on the elimination of female genital mutilation in 2008 entitled “Elimination of female genital mutilation: an inter-agency declaration”.

– WHO published a “Global Strategy to Prevent Health Care Providers from Performing Female Genital Mutilation” in 2010 in collaboration with other key United Nations agencies and international organizations.

– In 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/67/14 on the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM).

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What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

Female genital mutilation is also sometimes known as circumcision in which the external female genitalia is partially or completely removed or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Mainly, it is done between childhood and 15 years of age. Adult women can also undergo the procedure.

Female genital mutilation is mainly practiced in Africa, particularly in northeastern, eastern and western Africa. It also occurs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and among immigrants in Europe.

According to the WHO, female genital mutilation procedures are classified into 4 main types:

Type 1: It is known as clitoridectomy. In this type, the clitoris, which is a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitalia, is completely or partially removed. In very rare cases, only the foreskin, which is the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris, is removed.

Type 2: It is known as excision. In this, the clitoris and the labia minora, which are the internal folds of the vulva, are partially or totally removed, with or without excision of the labia majora, the external folds of skin of the vulva.

Type 3: It is known as infibulation. In this process, the vaginal opening is narrowed by creating a covering seal.

Type 4: Consists of all other harmful procedures to the female genitals without medical purposes. How to puncture, pierce, incise, scrape and cauterize the genital area.

Consequences of female genital mutilation

Let us tell you that FGM has no health benefits. It just hurts girls and women in a variety of ways. It interferes with the natural functions of the body of girls and women. It is removing and damaging healthy, normal female genital tissue.

After the procedure, the effects usually appear immediately and can cause severe bleeding, infections, tetanus, bladder paralysis or blood poisoning and can even lead to death. It also transmits AIDS/HIV through the use of dirty instruments.

Sometimes the victim may face psychological trauma, loss of sexual sensation, prolonged pain during urination and during menstruation, scar tissue and keloids, sexual problems, increased risk of childbirth complications and death of newborns, etc.

Female genital mutilation: facts

– According to UNFPA, the cost of preventing female genital mutilation today is $95 per girl.

– Female genital mutilation is mostly prevalent in 30 countries experiencing high population growth and at least 30% of girls under 15 years of age are subjected to this practice.

– According to the WHO, more than 200 million girls and women underwent genital mutilation in 30 countries, including Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and are alive today.


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