International day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation is observed on February 6 every year to create awareness on genital mutilation to girls and women and to promote its eradication.
Female Genital mutilation, also known as genital circumcision or genital cutting includes partial and complete removal or injury to female reproductive organs for non-medical reasons, mainly in the name of cultural tradition. It is done using a razor blade or knife, causing serious health issues including severe bleeding, infections, infertility, complications in child birth and new born deaths.
According to World Health Organization, over 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation and 3 million girls are at risk every year. This practice is primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East countries. It is carried out mainly between infancy (after birth) and puberty for cultural, religious and social reasons within families and communities. This brutal practice is recognized globally as violation of human rights of girls and women. It projects the deep rooted gender inequality and violence against women and girls.
If the practice continues, around 86 million additional girls globally will be subjected to this torture by 2030. Thus, there was an urgent need to abandon this inhumane practice, for which United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have made efforts to run a global programme for the complete elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
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