The UN's Zero Tolerance to FGM Day

Eradicating FGM: what the government must do –

Today marks International Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation Day. It’s a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day, part of global efforts to eradicate the practice. In light of this, British Foreign Policy Group Researcher, Flora Holmes, wrote for opinion site on female genital mutilation (FGM,) the governments response, and how eradicating FGM can become a central plank of the UK’s aid programme.

Flora said: “Many of us are aware of FGM and the devastating physical and mental consequences it inflicts on millions of women and girls – painful periods and intercourse, anorgasmia, unrinary problems, birth complications, and in some cases death. We are less aware of what our government, and the international community, is doing to eradicate the practice.”

Flora noted that: “The fight to eradicate FGM is being led by the UN, Unicef, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Countries like the UK have – in relative terms – been at the forefront of the movement. The WHO has praised the UK in taking a strong stance in the fight to end the practice.”

She went on to say: “this government has made girls’ education a development priority, with the campaign to ensure ’12 years of quality education’ for all. The prevalence of FGM is a roadblock to that goal. Aside from the immense physical and mental consequences of the practice that can impede a girls’ chance of quality education, FGM is often a precursor to early marriage, which usually ends a girl’s education. Understanding the causes, consequences, and complexities that surround the issue is vital in pushing for its end. That starts with awareness and openness. Indeed, a Unicef report revealed that in many countries where FGM is practiced, most men and women think the practice should end.”

You can read the full article here.

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