UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

TV premiere on Orange Day to spotlight ending FGM

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Link TV in collaboration with UNDPI, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women presents the television premiere of the UN Concert Event – "Raise Your Voice to End Female Genital Mutilation" with Grammy Award® Winner and UNICEF Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo.

For immediate release
Date: 15 April 2014

New York —

Link TV, the American satellite television network and global content provider, in cooperation with the UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women, presents the television premiere of the United Nations concert event, RAISE YOUR VOICE TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, with Grammy Award® winning artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo. The inspiring musical event premieres on Link TV (DirecTV 375 and DISH Network 9410) on Friday, 25 April at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The 25th of every month has been proclaimed Orange Day by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a monthly moment to highlight and take action against violence against women and girls.

the Television Premiere of the UN Concert Event
Concert by Angelique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Grammy Award Winner entitled “Raise Your Voice to End Female Genital Mutalation” Sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, UNFPA and UNICEF. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is recognized internationally as a violation of the rights of girls and women. Every year, more than three million girls and women - some 8,000 girls worldwide each day - are at risk of being subjected to FGM.  An estimated 125-140 million girls and women alive today have undergone such mutilation so far. Through the power of music, Grammy Award® winning, West African singer and songwriter Kidjo, special guest stars and UN delegates, gathered from around the world to raise awareness of the global efforts to end FGM.  The concert was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations and took place at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in February 2012.

Hailed by Time Magazine as "Africa's premier diva” and listed among “The Top 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa” by Forbes Magazine, Ms. Kidjo is a definitive 21st century world artist.  Her art roves across boundaries, genres and ethnicities, finding the connections that link musical forms from every part of the world, while still bonding closely with her own traditions from her homeland of Benin. In the years after Ms. Kidjo's initial exposure to the American pop music that influenced her as a child, her career escalated in a steadily rising arc. Initially active in the jazz community, she gradually expanded her interests and by the '90s had become a major international artist.

For more than a decade, she has used her visibility to support a far-reaching collection of advocacy groups, including UNICEF, for whom she is a Goodwill Ambassador, to her own Batonga Foundation, which provides educational aid to young African girls.

Thanks to the efforts of governments and the United Nations, communities across the globe are increasingly abandoning the practice of female genital mutilation, as well as taking concrete legal and policy action in favor of total eradication of the practice.  Education, advocacy and financial support help provide necessary resources to end female genital mutilation worldwide. To learn more visit: http://www.unfpa.org/topics/genderissues/fgm.

Viewers may also access the concert online at www.linktv.org. Additional airdates are as follows:

25 April - 11PM ET / 8PM PT

27 April - 1AM ET / 10PM PT

28 April - 9AM ET / 6AM PT

30 April - 7PM ET / 4PM PT

About LINK TV

Link TV is a viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, distributed nationally via satellite on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 - reaching more than 34 million US households. Link TV is a service of KCETLink, the national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media. For complete background information, program schedule and Internet streaming, go to LinkTV.org. Follow on Twitter @LinkTV and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/linktv. Link TV is a service of KCETLink.

About the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme

The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C: Accelerating Change, the world’s largest programme to put an end to the practice, was launched in 2007 and is now being implemented in 16 countries in Africa, as well as in Yemen. The Programme aims to see communities that continue the practice abandon it in a generation. Key to their success is using a human rights-based and culturally-sensitive approaches to encourage communities to act collectively, so that girls or their families who opt out do not jeopardize marriage prospects or become social outcasts. This approach has led more than  11,000 communities across Africa to publically declared the abandonment of the practice, usually through some form of public declaration. Media campaigns, alliances with religious or traditional leaders, and legal actions are other of the strategic approaches the programme supports.

About UN Women

UN Women is the global champion for women and girls, dedicated to upholding the rights of half the world’s people. UN Women stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, but pursues a handful of elements proven to unlock rapid transformation, including ending violence against women; increasing women’s leadership and participation; and promoting women’s economic empowerment. UN Women manages the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women.