February 6 – International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

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Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

FGM STOP DAYThe International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is observed each year to raise awareness about this practice.

Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and violation of the human rights of girls and women.

WHO is committed to the elimination of female genital mutilation within a generation and is focusing on advocacy, research and guidance for health professionals and health systems.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Female genital mutilation has no known health benefits. On the contrary, it is associated with a series of short and long-term risks to both physical, mental and sexual health and well-being.

Key facts

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • About 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • In Africa an estimated 92 million girls 10 years old and above have undergone FGM.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

FGM is affecting about 140 million girls and women, and more than 3 million girls are at risk every year. A special focus for WHO this year, is the troubling trend of health-care providers increasingly being the ones performing female genital mutilation, and thereby contributing to legitimize and maintain the practice.

rhr_10_9Global strategy to stop health-care providers from performing female genital mutilation

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Overview

This global strategy against medicalization of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders, including UN organizations and health-care professional bodies, national governments and NGOs. The strategy is intended for a broad audience of policy-makers in governments, parliamentarians, international agencies, professional associations, community leaders, religious leaders, NGOs and other institutions.

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