Ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030
2024 Theme: Her Voice. Her Future
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.
Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty in passing urine, as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and mental health.
Although primarily concentrated in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, female genital mutilation is a universal issue and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America. Female genital mutilation continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Over the last three decades, the prevalence of FGM has declined globally. Today, a girl is one-third less likely to undergo FGM than 30 years ago. However, sustaining these achievements in the face of humanitarian crises such as disease outbreaks, climate change, armed conflict and more could cause a rollback of progress toward achieving gender equality and the elimination of FGM by 2030.
More than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation. This year, nearly 4.4 million girls will be at risk of this harmful practice. This equates to more than 12,000 cases every day.
With seven years remaining in this decade of action, our collective actions must be centered around creating environments where girls and women can exercise their power and choice, enjoying full rights to health, education, and safety. And this is possible through investments in initiatives led by survivors of female genital mutilation who are challenging harmful gender and social norms. Their voices and actions can transform deeply rooted social and gender norms, allowing girls and women to realize their rights and potential in terms of health, education, income, and equality.
To promote the elimination of female genital mutilation, coordinated and systematic efforts are needed, and they must engage whole communities and focus on human rights, gender equality, sexual education and attention to the needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences.
Investing in Survivors-Led Movements to End Female Genital Mutilation
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.
For more than a decade, the Joint Programme has supported survivors of FGM, prioritizing investments in survivor-led initiatives, centered around empowerment, agency and access to essential services.
There is an urgent need for even more targeted, coordinated and sustained and concerted efforts if we are to achieve our common goal of ending female genital mutilation by 2030. Every survivor's voice is a call to action, and every choice they make in reclaiming their lives contributes to the global movement to end this harmful practice.
Join us on 6 February 2024 in our call to action. Share with the world how you support #HerVoiceMatters in leading the #EndFGM movement.
Although the practice has been around for more than a thousand years, ending female genital mutilation within this generation is still possible if we accelerate our progress 10 time faster. That is why the United Nations strives for its full elimination by 2030, following the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 5.
Since 2008, UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the elimination of female genital mutilation. The Joint Programme currently focuses on 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East and also supports regional and global initiatives.
Over the years, this partnership has seen significant achievements. As of last year, the Joint Programme supported more than 11,000 organizations, of which 83 per cent were grassroots organizations partnering with coalitions and survivor-led movements, advocating for changes in policies and laws, and championing changes to social and gender norms. [source: 2022 Annual Report on FGM).
Did You Know?
There are over 200 million girls and women alive today who are survivors of FGM.
Girls are today one third less likely to be subjected to FGM compared to 30 years ago; however, progress needs to be at least 10 times faster to meet the global target of FGM elimination by 2030.
In 2024, nearly 4.4 million girls - or more than 12,000 each day - are at risk of female genital mutilation around the world.
1 in 4 survivors underwent female genital mutilation by a health worker.
Daughters of FGM survivors are at significant higher risk to undergo FGM compared to daughters of women who have not undergone FGM.
The financial cost of health care for FGM survivors is USD 1.4 billion every year.
“We need urgent investments to reach the target set in the Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030. And we need to amplify the voices of survivors and support their efforts to reclaim their lives, based on their bodily autonomy.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres