International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is observed on February 6 every year. It is an annual awareness day celebrated as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation. It was first introduced in 2003.

Why February 6 was Chosen?

It was on February 6, 2003, Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, made the official declaration on “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC). Then the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights adopted this day as an international awareness day.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation refers to procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  The practice is widely carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15 due to cultural, religious or social reasons.
Spotlight Initiative which is a joint project of the European Union and the United Nations aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, specifically targets sexual and gender-based violence, and harmful practices in Sub-Saharan Africa, which include female genital mutilation.
Female genital mutilation is a gross violation of the human rights of women and girls. The practice discriminates against women on the basis of sex and compromises the rights to health, physical integrity and life, the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and the rights of the child.
Hence to abolish this inhumane discriminatory practice, Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality.



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