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International Day on Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

2023 Global Theme: “Partnership with Men and Boys to Transform Social and Gender Norms to End Female Genital Mutilation”

Men and boys are crucial factors and actors in efforts to end this harmful practice. Today, we remember women and girls living with one consequence or the other from undergoing FGM.

Please partner with us at SWYI to engage men and boys to work towards ending this practice and ensure the safety of the 4 million girls at risk of FGM.

It is a human rights violation, an extreme form of gender-based violence (GBV), sexual assault, and child abuse. Every country in the world has a legal framework against FGM, and the practice –the crime– is a strong impediment to achieving sustainable economic and social development.

The practice impacts the lives of women and girls in every aspect—from the moment they are cut throughout their lifetime.

From the immediate and long-term physical and psychological health consequences of FGM to its consequences on exposure to additional forms of GBV, on educational achievements, and labor force participation:

FGM prevents women and girls from reaching their full potential.

Although FGM is often practiced on girls during infancy by other female members of their communities (either a family member or a traditional cutter),

The root causes that perpetuate the practice are found in harmful patriarchal and gender-discriminatory norms.

FGM is, for instance, practiced under the idea that it controls a woman’s sexuality, secures her virginity, or that her genitalia is evil.

Moreover, it is also the first type of violence that a woman experiences in her life, and often results in exposure to other forms of GBV, especially child and forced marriage and intimate partner violence due to FGM’s complications.

Men, therefore, have a crucial role to play in the fight against FGM.

Because in unequal patriarchal societies, the individual voices of men matter more than the collective voice of women but most importantly because FGM is being carried out at their request or in their unspoken name.

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