Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030

Eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030

A campaign to stop the "barbaric" practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is being supported by Slough Borough Council (SBC) today (Wednesday).

A circular letter was issued by the Minister of Health in October 2017 requiring hospitals and governmental and private health facilities to inform the police when receiving complications resulting from female genital mutilation.

The 68 million girls at risk of genital mutilation exhibition opened on Wednesday at United Nations headquarters in NY to warn of the large number of children exposed to female genital mutilation. To mark the global day, UNFPA and UNICEF organized a photography exhibition at the visitor's lobby at the UN Headquarters in NY.

While concentrated mainly in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, it is a universal problem and occurs in some countries in Asia and Latin America.

The UN noted that about 200 million girls and women have had their genitals mutilated, adding that this amounted to one of the most inhuman acts of gender-based violence in the world.

Genital mutilation also has psychological repercussions, with many victims feeling anxious, depressed, incomplete and traumatized.

"Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia at 98 per cent, Guinea at 97 per cent, Djibouti 93 per cent and Egypt at 87 per cent", a United Nations statement said. Meanwhile, 68 million girls are at risk from 2015 to 2030.

The WHO said that in 2019, it will try to combat the growing belief that substituting traditional mutilation practices with similar methods carried out by health workers was less damaging, erroneously equivocating it with male circumcision.

Female genital mutilation is a form of gender-based violence, and in order to end it, the root causes of gender inequality have to be tackled, and the worldwide community need to work for women's social and economic empowerment, they said. It can spread HIV, and shoddy procedures can lead to death.

Coordinated and systematic efforts were needed in order to engage whole communities and do away with the practice, added the UN.

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