Message of Michelle Bachelet for the International Day for Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation

International Day for Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation


6 February 2013 – Today UN Women joins women and men, boys and girls around the world in a call to action for zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (FGM). The adoption of the landmark resolution banning female genital mutilation by the UN General Assembly this past December is a step in the right direction. We applaud the progress being made by communities, by individuals to abandon this harmful practice and protect the rights and dignity of girls and women.

FGM is a violation of human rights that poses serious health threats and can be fatal. Nearly 140 million women and girls worldwide are living with FGM and some three million more remain at risk every year.

There is good news. From Benin to Burkina Faso, from Ethiopia to Egypt, from Gambia to Guinea, from Senegal to Somalia, progress is being made. In many countries and communities, people are coming together to abandon this harmful practice. They take action to protect the right of women and girls to live healthy lives free of violence and discrimination.

Leadership at every level, from national to local Governments, including community and religious leaders, the media, medical professionals, and within families is the key to ending FGM.

UN Women supports Governments and partners to eradicate female genital mutilation and to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality.