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UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women Reaffirm Commitment To End female Genital Mutilation by 2030

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UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women Reaffirm Commitment To End female Genital Mutilation by 2030

Aminat Isah

The United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund( UNFPA), United Nations Women (UNW) have reaffirmed commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030.

Executive Director, UNFPA Dr. Natalia Kanem, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women gave the joint affirmation in the wake of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, today, a day set aside for awareness as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate FGM.

ROYAL NEWS reports that FGM, nearly always carried out on minors is a violation of the rights of children and it is critical because of its long-term physical, psychological and social consequences. It violates women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment, and also a violation of medical ethics, as FGM is never safe, no matter who carries it out or how clean the venue is.

UNICEF and partners examining the effects of FGM cited the testimonial of Mary Oloiparuni who was 13 when she was mutilated and said FGM did not only restrained in a doorway early one morning in her home, when she was cut, bled profusely and experienced agonizing pain, the scarring she endured then continues to cause her pain today, 19 years later. It has made giving birth to each of her five children an excruciating and harrowing experience.

“Mary is not alone. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have had their genitals mutilated – suffering one of the most inhuman acts of gender-based violence in the world.

“On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we reaffirm our commitment to end this violation of human rights, so that the tens of millions of girls who are still at risk of being mutilated by 2030 do not experience the same suffering as Mary.

UNICEF and partners further said because female genital mutilation is a form of gender-based violence, it cannot address it in isolation from other forms of violence against women and girls, or other harmful practices such as early and forced marriages. To end female genital mutilation, to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and work for women’s social and economic empowerment.

“In 2015, world leaders overwhelmingly backed the elimination of female genital mutilation as one of the targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is an achievable goal, and we must act now to translate that political commitment into action.

The joint body called on governments in countries where female genital mutilation is prevalent to develop national action plans with focus on budget lines dedicated to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, education, social welfare and legal services. to end the practice.

UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women Reaffirm Commitment To End female Genital Mutilation by 2030

“At the national level, we need new policies and legislation protecting the rights of girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination.

It also called institutions and economic communities at regional level to work together, to prevent the movement of girls and women across borders when the purpose is to get them into countries with less restrictive female genital mutilation laws.

It further said there is a need for religious leaders at local levels to strike down myths that female genital mutilation has a basis in religion, because societal pressures often drive the practice, individuals and families need more information about the benefits of abandoning it.

“Public pledges to abandon female genital mutilation, particularly pledges by entire communities, are an effective model of collective commitment. But public pledges must be paired with comprehensive strategies for challenging the social norms, practices and behaviours that condone female genital mutilation. Testimonials by survivors like Mary also help to build understanding of the practice’s grim reality and long-lasting impact on women’s lives. Advocacy campaigns and social media can amplify the message that ending female genital mutilation saves and improves lives.

The joint bodies acknowledged the collective action of governments, civil society, communities and individuals, in ensuring female genital mutilation is in decline, and stressed it is not aiming for fewer cases of FGM practice, but insisting on zero cases.

Speaking on the Nigerian Context of FGM, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Country representative in Nigeria, said girls and women are still faced with the scourge, despite the decline as indicated by the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2016 -2017) which shows some decline in the incidence of FGM in Nigeria, 18.4% of women aged 15-49 years now undergo FGM; a decrease from 27% in 2011.

“There is, therefore, an urgent need for decision makers and political leaders to take concrete action towards ending the harmful practice of FGM in Nigeria”,

He said UNICEF and partners’ interventions to ensure the elimination of FGM by 2030 has resulted in a break in the barrier against discussing FGM publicly, as Religious leaders, community stakeholders and young people now speak out against the practice.

“Subsequently, last year, more than 309 communities publicly declared abandonment of the practice,” said Fall

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