Saturday, February 06, 2016

End female genital mutilation

The real scale of female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide has been revealed in alarming new statistics on the eve of International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone ritual cutting, half of them living in just three countries, according to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency. The UNICEF data covers 30 countries, but half of the girls and women who have been cut live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia. The new global figure includes nearly 70 million more girls and women than UNICEF estimated in 2014. About 44 million victims of FGM around the world are aged 14 or younger, and the majority of girls who have had their genitals mutilated were cut before they were five years old, Unicef’sresearch found.

Somalia has the highest prevalence of women and girls who have been cut—98% of the female population between the ages of 15 and 49.

In Guinea, where 97% of girls aged 15 to 49 are FGM victims despite the practice being outlawed, Unicef staff described seeing girls taken away from their families against their will to be cut, on the orders of village authorities. One five-year-old died from her wounds.

Other countries FGM rates were , Djibouti 93%; Sierra Leone 90%; Mali 89%; Egypt 87%; Sudan 87%; Eritrea 83%; Burkina Faso 76% and The Gambia 75%

Unicef said the picture was optimistic in some countries, with FGM prevalence rates declining by 41% in Liberia, 31% in Burkina Faso, 30% in Kenya and 27% in Egypt over the last 30 years.

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