Source: United Nations 4
Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, observed on 6 February:
Female genital mutilation is an egregious violation of fundamental human rights that causes lifelong harm to the physical and mental health of women and girls.
In 2024, some 4.4 million girls are at risk of suffering from this horrific act of gender-based violence. Even one mutilation is one too many.
We need decisive action to tackle the social, economic and political norms that perpetuate discrimination against women and girls, limit their participation and leadership, and restrict their access to education and employment.
That starts with challenging the patriarchal power structures and attitudes at the root of this abhorrent practice.
We need urgent investments to reach the target set in the Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030.
And we need to amplify the voices of survivors and support their efforts to reclaim their lives, based on their bodily autonomy.
On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and every day, let’s redouble our efforts and investments to uphold the rights of women and girls, and put a decisive end to female genital mutilation once and for all.