Marking International Day for ‘Zero Tolerance’ to Female Genital Mutilation

February 6 2016 marks an important date in the global calendar to raise awareness of a harmful form of abuse, which is happening to millions of women and girls world-wide. International Day for Zero Tolerance to Female Genital (FGM) is a UN-sponsored awareness day that takes place February 6 each year which aims to raise awareness of FGM and promote its eradication.

FGM is the ‘cutting’ or circumcision of a girl’s genitalia for non-medical reasons and it is against the law here in Kenya and in many other parts of the world.

As the world marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), stakeholders leading the fight against the cultural practice in Kenya gathered in Nairobi to celebrate a decline in the prevalence rate of 8 percent.

The reduction in FGM prevalence however did not mean that Kenya was out of the woods yet since the target is to ensure no girl or woman is cut.

Just recently, Gambia put a ban to it before the report by UNICEF came out showing that a good number of African countries had made great strides in taming the vice.

Information from the World Health Organization estimates that 120-140 million women have been subjected to the procedure.  A further three million girls are thought to be at risk each year.

It is against the law to carry out, aid or abet any form of FGM and this is why it is so important that we do all we can to get the message out there and raise awareness to protect victims and potential victims across the county.

We all need to have a far better understanding of this terrible crime and adopt a zero tolerance to female genital mutilation. This activity has absolutely no place in 21st century.

There are a good number of women in different communities like the Maasai who are championing for the rights of young girls affected by this vice. However, this should involve more stakeholders who will take positive action against such abuse which includes supporting victims, ensuring a full risk assessment is carried out and, where appropriate, conducting a vigorous investigation.

FGM is prevalent in 28 African countries as well as in parts of the Middle East and Asia and it is estimated 103,000 women aged 15-49, 24,000 women aged 50 and over and 10,000 girls aged under 15 who have migrated to England and Wales, are likely to have undergone FGM.

It 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.

Some communities still believe that this is a compulsory rite of passage and very few convictions have been made. But we are hopeful that as a country, we are going to reach the zero mark as long as all stakeholders are involved.

Education on dangers of FGM has to go hand in hand with the law. If one is not there, one will not work.


Subscribe to Shaboard Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Be the first to comment on "Marking International Day for ‘Zero Tolerance’ to Female Genital Mutilation"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.