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International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

Paper cuts!

You KNOW how painful they are right? They absolutely kill initially, then throb for several days.

Imagine it’s a cut to your genitals. That’s right. One of the most sensitive areas of your body with literally hundreds of millions of nerve endings. 

And the cut is deliberately requested by someone in your family.

Often with an old, blunt blade, often getting infected.

Without an anaesthetic.

Last year, 4.2 million girls were at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation around the world. That’s about half the population of London. 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured, or changed, and when there's no medical reason for this to be done. It is a harmful and abusive practice. But it is illegal here in the UK. 

It is more commonly carried out to young girls between the ages of 4 and 12 and often before puberty starts. But it can be at any age. 

It is very painful and can have complications for the girls through the rest of their lives. 

Monday 6th February is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). A day to bring this damaging practice to the forefront of our minds so that we don’t forget that millions of girls and women go through such a traumatic and unnecessary act every year. 

FGM is a deeply entrenched cultural practice in some communities, and it is often carried out as a way to control female sexuality and ensure chastity. It is also seen as a rite of passage into womanhood in some societies.

However, FGM has no health benefits and can have serious physical and emotional consequences for the girls and women who undergo it. It can lead to severe pain, infections, infertility, and even death. 

FGM also violates the human rights of girls and women and is a form of gender-based violence.

Despite being illegal in many countries, FGM is still practiced in some parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. 

It is estimated that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM. That’s the same number as a third of Europe!

So what can be done to reduce the numbers of FGM?

One approach is to increase awareness and education about the harmful effects of FGM and the importance of protecting the rights of girls and women. This can be done through campaigns and programs in schools and communities.

Another approach is to work with community leaders and traditional practitioners to change social norms and attitudes towards FGM. This can be done through dialogue and engagement, and by offering alternative rites of passage for girls.

There are also laws and policies that can help to prevent FGM and support survivors. Governments and international organizations can play a role in enacting and enforcing these laws and policies, as well as providing services for survivors.

It is important to remember that ending FGM is not just about changing laws and policies, but also about changing mindsets and attitudes. It requires a multi-faceted approach that involves the entire community.

On this International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, let us stand together in solidarity and commitment to ending this harmful and abusive practice once and for all. Every girl and woman deserves to live a life free from violence and discrimination.

Is this something you could campaign against, give financially or pray into? This issue needs people like you to keep working towards a world where FGM no longer exists. 

More info: International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation | United Nations