Zero Tolerance to FGM: NPWJ calls for concrete and effective policies to prevent and combat this violation of human rights

6 Feb, 2021 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 6 February 2021

Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a day when we reaffirm our strong commitment to bring an end to one of the most serious and wide-scale violation of the rights of women and girls.

Despite the years of awareness campaigns to promote the elimination of FGM, millions of women and girls worldwide are still victims or at risk of FGM, as both a result and a perpetuation of gender inequality and discrimination that denies them the most basic forms of personal autonomy and self-determination. In many parts of the world, women who have the courage to fight for their dignity by defying the social pressures of tradition are exposed to great personal risks, including social rejection, harassment and violent threats. 

Since the start of its BanFGM Campaign, NPWJ has constantly stressed that the adoption and the enforcement of explicit and effective legislation, backed by sanctions, banning all forms of FGM are fundamental and crucial factors to successfully combat this form of gender-based violence, protect its victims and end impunity by holding perpetrators to account. It also reinforces the legitimacy and impact of the advocacy and awareness efforts carried out by local anti-FGM activists and women’s rights group to bring an end to this human rights violation.

On this important day when we reaffirm our commitment to stamp out FGM, we appeal to all states in which FGM is perpetrated to enact and ensure compliance with legislation that unequivocally prohibits FGM as a criminal offence as well as to support the innumerable human rights groups, women’s associations and individual advocates that fight a daily battle to ensure that the women and girls of tomorrow will be free from the threat of FGM.

We also take this opportunity to express our concerns about the challenging impact of COVID-19 on the effort to end FGM and safeguard the well-being of girls around the world. The United Nations has predicted that the disruption of planned efforts due to the global pandemic and the increased vulnerabilities created by the measures taken to contain it – notably lockdowns –could lead to a staggering increase in sexual and gender-based violence such as FGM and child marriages over the next decade. The current health crisis is putting our policies to the testWe therefore call on all governments to uphold their commitment to the protection of women and girls worldwide especially at this difficult time, when their rights are most at risk.


Check also: