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Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: An Urgent Call to #EndFGM

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Mason Walker
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Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: An Urgent Call to #EndFGM

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The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

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Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a significant global event aimed at highlighting the urgent need to eradicate this harmful practice. FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of female genitalia for non-medical reasons, is recognized internationally as a severe violation of human rights, causing serious health complications and discriminating against women.

Her Voice. Her Future. Let's #EndFGM

This year, the theme for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is 'Her Voice. Her Future.' This theme emphasizes the importance of survivor-led movements and the critical role of women-led organizations in the fight against FGM. By amplifying survivors' voices and investing in their future, we can accelerate progress towards the eradication of FGM by 2030, as outlined by the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program.

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The Alarming Statistics of FGM

Despite the global efforts to eliminate FGM, the statistics remain alarming. Currently, there are over 200 million survivors around the world, with an estimated 4.4 million girls at risk in 2024. This number is projected to rise to 4.6 million by 2030. In the United States alone, up to 513,000 women and girls are at risk or have already undergone FGM.

Breaking the Silence: Survivors Leading the Fight

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One of the most effective ways to combat FGM is by empowering survivors and those at risk. Women like Siminesh Cimollo, an FGM survivor, have taken the lead in fighting for the criminalization of the practice in places like Connecticut. But this is not just an issue in one state or one country. FGM is a global problem, prevalent in 92 countries, heavily concentrated in African countries, the Middle East, and some parts of Asia.

The Role of Societal Norms and Legal Challenges in FGM

Despite the human rights violations and health harms associated with FGM, the practice persists due to deeply ingrained social norms and cultural and religious beliefs. Enforcement of laws against FGM remains a significant challenge in many countries. Changing these norms and beliefs, along with strengthening legal frameworks, is essential to ending FGM.

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Investing in the Future: The Cost of Ending FGM

Ending FGM by 2030 in the 31 priority countries will require an estimated $2.75 billion. While the figure may seem steep, the cost of inaction is far greater. Investing in the fight against FGM is not just a financial commitment; it is an investment in the future of millions of girls and women worldwide.

Join the Fight to #EndFGM

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to protect women and girls from this harmful practice. It is a call to action for everyone – from individuals to governments, from survivors to advocates – to join hands and work together to #EndFGM. By empowering female voices and investing in grassroots and community-based organizations, we can accelerate the progress towards a future free from FGM.

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