As the world celebrates, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation,FGM , United Nations Children’s Fund,UNICEF and partners have called for a new policies and legislation protecting the rights of girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination..
In a statement signed by Executive Director, UNFPA,Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNICEF,Henrietta . Fore and Executive Director, UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said governments in countries where female genital mutilation are prevalent should also develop national action plans to end the practice..
The statement says action plans must include budget lines dedicated to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, education, social welfare and legal services.for effective and efficiency.
It also urged institutions and economic communities to work together,in preventing the movement of girls and women across borders when the purpose was to get them into countries with less restrictive female genital mutilation laws.
The United Nations agencies reaffirm their commitment to end violation of human rights, for tens of millions of girls who are still at risk of being mutilated by 2030..
According to the statement FGM violates women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment.
The recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2016 -2017)however 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.
UNICEF and partners’ interventions to ensure the elimination of FGM by 2030 has resulted in a break in the barrier against discussing FGM publicly. whereby Religious leaders, community stakeholders and young people now speak out against this practice.
Subsequently, last year, more than 309 communities publicly declared abandonment of the practice.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations annual awareness day that takes place on February 6 as part of efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation.