This Monday, February 6th is International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In an effort to make the world aware of female genital mutilation and to promote an end to it, in December of 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution; to observe February 6th as the day the world tells the perpetrators of FGM/C that there is no tolerance for the practice of it. Since then, the U.N. requested that the day be used to enhance awareness-raising campaigns, and to take concrete action against the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting.
More commonly known as FGM/C, female genital mutilation/cutting is the intentional removal of either all or part of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. External genitals include the clitoris, labia, pubis, urethral and vaginal openings. This practice is an abuse of human rights and causes serious health complications, including fatal bleeding.
According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), more than 500,000 women and girls residing in the U.S. are either at risk of FGM/C or have already experienced it. FGM/C is a heinous deeply rooted traditional practice of more than five centuries, performed in parts of Africa, Asia, Middle East, Australia, Europe and North America, including the United States. It originated in Egypt during the pharaoh era, and later found its way to Sub-Sahara Africa and other parts of the world.
More than 140 million women have been subjected to FGM/C and more than 3 million girls are at risk each year in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation joins other anti-FGM/C organizations, advocates and activists around the world in sending the message that we will not tolerate the practice of FGM/C. We will continue to demonstrate Zero Tolerance for this health hazardous practice on little girls. This year, let’s observe this day with a dedication to all of the little girls past and present who were violated, and to all the women who have lived with the consequences of FGM/C.
If you are reading this we ask you to save the date, February 6th on your calendar and have a moment of silence for the women whose lives were taken at the blades of their excisors for the past five thousand plus years. We applaud all of the women who have survived the years of post-FGM/C, and the courage many of them exhibit by speaking out against what they endured many years before.
Please make a note to wear an item of purple on Monday, February 6th to make your voice heard that you will not tolerate female genital mutilation/cutting. Fly a purple flag on your car; wear a purple bow or flower in your hair or wear a purple jacket or t-shirt. Write a tribute on your social media page to the women and girls we have lost to FGM/C for the past five plus centuries. Let the world know that you care, and you want this atrocious and senseless practice to stop.