US: Nigeria, Gambia ban female genital mutilation - UNFPA

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) has said that Nigeria and The Gambia are among the countries that have outlawed the harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

In a report on the of 2017 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, marked worldwide on 6 February, the UNFPA said there is an urgent need to abandon the practice.

“With the support of UNFPA and other UN agencies, many countries have passed legislation banning FGM – including, in 2015, Nigeria and The Gambia – and developed national policies to achieve its abandonment.”

Female genital mutilation refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and it is a deeply entrenched social and cultural norm in many societies.

The UN agency said that “Girls aged 14 and younger represent about 44 million of those who have undergone female genital mutilation. Around the world, 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation, a deeply entrenched culture with devastating medical, social, emotional, legal and economic repercussions for young girls and women."

“It is a violation of the human rights of women and girls, and a form of gender-based violence that must end now,” the UN agency said, adding that the practice could cause short- and long-term health complications, including chronic pain, infections, increased risk of HIV transmission, anxiety and depression, birth complications, infertility and, in the worst cases, death.

"The UNFPA, in partnership with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation."

Its work is currently focused on 17 African countries and also supports regional and global initiatives.
-0- PANA VAO 6Feb2017

06 february 2017 14:02:05




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