Photo Credit:Jean-Marc Bouju/AP
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA ) has projected that over 86 million young girls worldwide are likely to experience some form of genital mutilation/cutting by 2030 if the trends continue.
Executive Director, UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin disclosed this in his statement to mark the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FMG).
Despite a century of efforts to put an end to the practice, female circumcision is still practiced and valued in some 29 countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East, under the belief that girls must be “cut” in order to prepare them for marriage.
Osotimehin further disclosed that in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, more than 125 million girls and women have been cut.
He said it is unacceptable that these human rights violations continue to threaten the lives and futures of so many women and girls.
“It is an affront to their human dignity, an assault on their health and an impediment to the well-being of their families, communities and countries. Human development cannot be fully achieved as long as women and girls continue to suffer from this human rights violation or live in fear of it,” he added.
He noted that some countries like Uganda, Kenya and Guinea-Bissau have started criminalizing the practice, while urged others to join in the force to accelerate the total abandonment of FGM.