Basic Information about International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Every year February 6 is observed as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female Genital Mutilation to raise awareness campaigns and to take concrete actions against female genital mutilations.
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Observed on: February 6
Organized by: UN
Introduced in: 2002 (UN Resolution), 2003 (First Observation)
About International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
On 20 December 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/67/146 in which it “calls upon States, the United Nations system, civil society and all stakeholders to continue to observe 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female Genital Mutilation and to use the day to enhance awareness – raising campaigns and to take concrete actions against female genital mutilations”. The first day was observed on 6 February 2003.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
It shows inequality between the sexes, discrimination against women, violates a person’s rights to health, violates security and physical integrity, violates the right to be free from torture and cruel, violates inhuman or degrading treatment, and violates the right to life when the procedure results in death.
- An estimated 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
- If current trends continue, some 86 million young girls worldwide are likely to experience some form of the practice by 2030.
- FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometimes between infancy and age 15.
- FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
- FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
Activities and Programs on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
UNICEF currently works in 22 countries on the elimination of FGM. Since 2008 UNFPA and UNICEF have collaborated on the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Accelerating Change in 15 of those countries in West, East and North Africa.
There have been successes in accelerating the abandonment of FGM with some countries like Uganda, Kenya and Guinea – Bissau have adopted laws criminalizing the practice.
Punishment and penalizes given to the persons involved in FGM are highly publicized to raise awareness about the issue. Culturally sensitive programmes aimed at changing social norms, often by engaging community elders, men and boys.
UN is doing prevention activities and in addition to that, the UN is working with partners to help those who have been affected by FGM. Public conferences and forums often feature FGM survivors who are invited to share their personal experiences. Other activities include photo essays and round – table discussions on making policies and laws to end FGM.