International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is observed on 6 February. The day seeks to raise awareness on ending the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).


Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves altering or injuring female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Over 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone this painful and shocking procedure that causes short-term health issues like infections and difficulty urinating, and long-term sexual, reproductive, and mental health problems.

Though concentrated largely in 30 African and Middle Eastern countries, FGM still persists globally including in some Asian and Latin American countries and amongst immigrant populations in the West. After decades of decline, COVID-19 disruptions threaten recent progress as over 12,000 girls daily remain at risk of this human rights violation.

UN Action and Global Commitment to Eradicate FGM

In 2012, the UN General Assembly set a target to eliminate FGM by 2030 aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals. UNFPA and UNICEF lead the largest global program across 17 priority countries also supporting regional and global efforts against FGM. Over 83% of their 11,000 partner grassroots and survivor-led organizations advocate changes in policies, laws and social norms regarding the practice.

2024 Theme – Her Voice Her Future

This year’s theme is “Her Voice. Her Future. The day calls to amplify and direct elimination efforts by prioritizing survivor-led initiatives for empowerment, agency and access to services. With just 7 years left, targeted, concerted support for survivors is urgently needed to achieve the 2030 target, as every survivor’s voice and every choice they make in reclaiming their lives contributes to ending FGM.

Calls to Action

On February 6, 2024, people across the world are called to support the global movement against female genital mutilation by:

  • Sharing how they enable #HerVoiceMatters
  • Spreading the #EndFGM message
  • Joining coordinated efforts engaging entire communities based on human rights, gender equality, sexual education and assisting FGM victims.

The custom has prevailed over centuries, but the tide is turning with an increased pace of progress in recent years. With accelerated collective action centered around survivors’ rights and choices, eliminating female genital mutilation globally by 2030 is an ambitious yet achievable goal, freeing millions of girls and women from this human rights violation.



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