Today, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), we the leaders and commitment makers to the Generation Equality Action Coalitions on Gender-Based Violence and Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) take a strong stance against FGM, an ongoing human rights violation and a form of gender-based violence.
We collectively pledge our support to amplifying the courageous voices of women, girls, and survivors in all their diversity, and advocates who have been subjected to FGM, without a choice, impacting control over their own bodies and their own lives. We join the UN leadership in reaffirming our dedication to the brave women and girls who have survived and continue to live in fear for their loved ones.
FGM is pervasive and devastating. Each year, approximately four million girls undergo FGM. Over 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM. This year, nearly 4.4 million girls will be at risk of this unsafe and degrading procedure– that is more than 12,000 cases every day. Every survivor’s testimony is a plea for action and every choice and action they advocate for is not only critical in reclaiming their lives but contributes to the global movement to end this harmful practice and change social norms, for bodily autonomy, for gender equality.
Action is urgently needed. As populations grow, the number of girls at risk is projected to reach 4.6 million by 2030, further fueled by the challenges of conflict, and growing poverty, which hinder efforts to transform negative gender and social norms and to end FGM.
In keeping with the blueprint targets of the Generation Equality Action Coalitions of Gender-Based Violence and Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and our strong and cross-cutting collective commitment on Harmful Practices, we are working together to scale up comprehensive, accessible, and quality services for survivors of GBV, and increase SRHR decision-making and bodily autonomy. We recognize and call for attention to FGM as a harmful practice that results in severe physical and mental health consequences for women and girls in all their diversity, and we recommit our support to eliminating this harmful practice.
We stand with UN leadership in emphasizing stronger focus on the voices of survivors in all their diversity –championing their movements, partnering with them, and creating spaces for dialogue.
Women-led and survivor-led organizations, especially at the grassroots level, are driving local and global efforts to end FGM. They have an in-depth understanding of the communities where the practice is entrenched, the challenges that women and girls face, and the knowledge and tools needed to advance their rights. Partnering with them and investing in their work remain key to promoting meaningful social change, advancing advocacy, and addressing the health needs of survivors.
In a year where we organize and mobilize towards the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD30) agenda, the Sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), the Summit of the Future and Beijing+30, today is an important reminder for all of us to play a role in addressing the urgent need for more targeted and concerted efforts to turn our shared goal of ending FGM into a reality. Led by women, girls, and survivors in all their diversity who have survived FGM and together with all stakeholders – we have the responsibility to accelerate efforts and protect the millions of girls and women who are and remain at risk.
- European Commission
- Government of Iceland
- YES, Trust
- Government of Kenya
- Kerring Foundation
AC Bodily Autonomy and SRHR
Fundación Mujeres en Igualdad (FEIM)
Alliance Droits et Santé
Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women