Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
According to the UN, Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death.
For many of us, FGM might not be a common occurrence in our communities, but it is real and must be stopped. I recall some months ago when I went to screen DRY in Ebonyi State, I was amazed at the real life stories I heard. At an event organised by the UNFPA and the state’s First Lady, some women who used to make a living from circumcising girls and women in their communities came forward to declare that they have stopped the act and surrendered their tools. I saw blades, knives and other crude objects that made me cringe. I imagined the pain those girls and women must have felt while being cut and the devastating consequences of that unnecessary action on their lives. From fistula, to infertility, to painful childbirth and even death, there are lots of dangers associated with this practice. Sadly, many people are ignorant about this and think they are doing their females more good than harm by circumcising them. That is why you and I must help in raising awareness every way we can.
And so today, I join my voice with many others across the world to say lets have Zero Tolerance for FGM.
Globally, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation (FGM). If current trends continue, 15 million more girls could be affected by 2030. On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation raise your voice to #endFGM.