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24th May, 2021, International news
By: Norvisi Eyiram Mawunyegah
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Friday cautioned measures to abolish Female Genital Mutilation by 2030. Female Genital Mutilation is an inhumane fundamental right violation that affects the health and well-being of females across the world, he said in a message for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
Sadly, the dreadful act has escalated at the presence of the pandemic putting high risk on women and girls. Lockdowns and school closures have left girls highly vulnerable to harm of all kinds, and have hindered efforts to end harmful practices, including FGM.
Without urgent action, 2 million more girls could be at risk of FGM between now and 2030 — in addition to the 4 million girls already at risk each year, he said.
“I urge all governments, policy-makers, civil society organizations and others to prioritize addressing female genital mutilation in their national COVID-19 responses. FGM is both a form of gender-based violence and a child protection issue,” he said.
“If we are to meet our global target of eliminating FGM by 2030, we need to increase the rate of progress ten-fold. This will require some 2.4 billion U.S. dollars over the next decade.”
The cost of inaction is far higher. Ending FGM is essential to ending violence of all kinds against women and girls and achieving gender equality, he said.
“On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we raise our voices to say, ‘Enough!’ We have no time to waste. Let’s UNITE FUND and ACT to end female genital mutilation by 2030.”