On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/FGC); Afrihealth Optonet Association has condemned the continuous practice of this harmful act of FGM anywhere in the world, by whosoever, for whatever reason. “FGM is global, but so is the movement to end it”.
The Programs Director/CEO, CS4EGBV Project/Afrihealth Optonet Association [CSOs Network], Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje made this known to journalists in Abuja via a release. He stated that because female genital mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is inflicted on and affects women and girls in several continents, Afrihealth Optonet Association declares that there must be a global strategy and international cooperation to end the human rights abuse by 2030.
Eradicating FGM worldwide by 2030 is one of the commitments that all 193 UN member states agreed to when they signed onto the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.
“Sometimes the scale of the problem can feel overwhelming, but it is important to remember that we are not alone in our fight to end the practice, and that important work is being done around the world”.
Continuing, he disclosed that an estimated 55 million girls under the age of 15 in 28 African countries have experienced or are at risk of experiencing FGM, which remains prevalent in parts of West, East, Central, and Northern Africa.
“This, despite the fact that laws against FGM are most common in the African continent where 28 countries have specific anti-FGM laws or legal provisions.
The move to end FGM in Africa has over the years gained traction on the continent with state and non-state actors at the international, regional, and national levels coalescing around actions designed to address this harmful practice.
“These efforts have seen African governments commit to the global goal of ending FGM by 2030 in addition to launching a continental drive aimed at promoting and accelerating the collective abandonment of FGM at the community level through the development and enforcement of comprehensive anti-FGM laws; increasing and allocating resources to end FGM, and strengthening partnerships geared towards this.
Similarly, women’s rights defenders in Africa have banded together and are playing their part in contributing to the anti-FGM movement by holding states to account and exposing gaps that continue to put women and girls at risk of FGM. While some of them have been working under the auspices of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) and galvanizing action at the regional and national levels, others such as Hope Beyond Foundation in Kenya have been leading the campaign at the community level.
According to him, “as recognition of the global prevalence of the practice increases, activists from across the continent are leading the now global movement to end female genital mutilation. In 2020, Burkina Faso submitted a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of the group of African States calling on governments globally to take “comprehensive, multisectoral and rights-based measures to prevent and eliminate female genital mutilation”.
“We declare the FGM is avoidable gender-based violence (GBV) that brings ALL PAINS and no gain and must be totally eliminated/stopped the world over.
Say ‘NO’ to GBV. End FGM now”.
“Our ‘Civil Society for Elimination of GBV’ project, seeks to end FGM/FGC by 2030. We call for total commitment by governments, the United Nations system, International and local development partners, civil society organizations, businesses, development partners, civil society organizations, business, faith-based groups, communities, men, women, girls, boys, parents and relations to escalate actions and commitment to end FGM everywhere on the planet”.