Today, we embrace the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation as an occasion to address this universal problem and to educate the general public on issues of concern related to this vicious practice.
Although primarily concentrated in the Western, Eastern, and North-Eastern regions of Africa, female genital mutilation is also carried out in some countries in Asia and Latin America and continues to persist amongst migrants from these areas. According to statistics from 30 countries where population data exist, more than 200 million young girls and women alive today have undergone this procedure, bringing the number of girls estimated to be at risk for female genital mutilation to over 3 million annually. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an additional burden on many countries in their effort to eliminate this harmful practice, affecting girls and women disproportionately.
In response to this disruption, we make it our commitment to issue a joint statement against the practice of female genital mutilation with all institutions worldwide that counteract this practice through research, community work and changes in public policy in an effort to create a world that enables girls and women to have control over their own lives. We strongly believe that promoting the elimination of female genital mutilation requires a coordinated and systematic approach by engaging the communities and focusing above all on human rights, gender equality and sexual education.
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