February 6, 2023, marks the 12th anniversary of the ‘International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation’, established by the United Nations General Assembly in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The day gives governments, civil society organizations, activists, and other key participants the chance to increase awareness, reaffirm pledges, and stress how devastating female genital mutilation is and how it violates the fundamental human rights of women and girls
The term 'female genital mutilation' (FGM) refers to all practices that include changing or harming the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. FGM is an international human rights, health, and integrity issue for girls and women.
Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty passing urine, as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and mental health.
Although primarily concentrated in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, female genital mutilation is a universal problem and is also practiced in India and some other countries in Asia and Latin America. Female genital mutilation continues to persist among immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Over the last 25 years, the prevalence of FGM has declined globally. Today, a girl is one-third less likely to undergo FGM than she was 30 years ago.
The theme of the 2023 commemorations is 'Partnership with Men and Boys to Transform Social and Gender Norms to End Female Genital Mutilation