International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, February 6 2024.

Theme: Her Voice. Her Future

By: Leo Tejiri Jehian

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or cutting, is a harmful traditional practice that involves the cutting or removal of part or all of the external female genitalia. It is usually carried out on girls and young women without their consent, often by traditional cutters using unsterilized instruments. FGM can have serious health consequences, including severe pain, bleeding, infection, and long-term physical and psychological problems.  it can also lead to a number of health problems, including increased risk of childbirth complications, problems with urination, infertility, and an increased risk of HIV transmission.

The psychological effects of FGM can also be significant, with survivors often experiencing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some survivors also report feeling alienated from their communities because of the stigma associated with FGM.

More than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation. This year, nearly 4.4 million girls will be at risk of this harmful practice. This equates to more than 12,000 cases every day.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice. The annual theme for the year,2024 is “Her Voice, Her Future”. The annual theme entails massive investment in survivors led movement to End FGM.

With few years remaining in this decade of action on the SDG, DICI focus is centered around creating and influencing policies for enabling environment, where girls and women can exercise their power and make informed choices, while, enjoying their full rights to health, education, and safety. This is possible through investments in initiatives led by survivors of female genital mutilation, who are challenging harmful gender and social norms. The voices and actions of survivors is transforming deeply rooted social and gender norms, allowing girls and women to realize their rights and potential in terms of health, education, income, and equality.

In promoting the elimination of female genital mutilation, DICI strives to undertake coordinated and systematic efforts in engaging the whole communities with focus on human rights, gender equality, sexual education and attention to the needs of women and girls who suffer from the consequences of FGM. In its effort to curbing this menace from our everyday society, Development Initiative for Community Impact (DICI), strive towards;

  • Providing support and resources to survivors, such as healthcare, counseling, and legal assistance
  •  Raising awareness about the harmful effects of FGM through educational campaigns and outreach;
  •  Working with local communities to change attitudes and behavior around FGM;
  • Developing policies to protect survivors and prevent the practice of FGM
  • Conducting trainings for healthcare providers and other professionals to provide appropriate care for survivors

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