Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and it is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. Globally, it is estimated that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM. Although FGM in declining in the majority of countries where it is prevalent, most of these are also experiencing a high rate of population growth – meaning that the number of girls who undergo FGM will continue to grow if efforts are not significantly scaled up.
It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death.
FGM is a particularly serious problem in some countries, for example FGM is more common in Egypt than anywhere else in the world. About 92% of married Egyptian women aged between 15-49 have had their genitals cut. These astonishing statistics are all the more surprising when you consider that Egypt banned the practice in 2008. See the BBC podcast below.
The Truth About FGM
Published on 25 Mar 2013, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and UNICEF are working towards the elimination of female genital mutilation/cutting in the Afar region of Ethiopia. True Story is a film made for the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme by SafeHands for Mothers: www.safehands.org
Be aware that you may be disturbed by what you hear.
Register your interest
The United Nations wants FGM to stop, and the UNA Coventry Branch wants to run an event where we can discuss this issue and what can be done about it. If you would like to take part in this event, please use the contact form below.
Here young people can find out more about FGM.
Researchers from the Centre for Communities and Social Justice (CCSJ) at Coventry University created this “web app”, endorsed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), to help protect young girls and women from female genital mutilation (FGM).
‘Petals’ is the first of its kind to be developed in the UK and was demonstrated at a special launch events in London and Coventry in July 2015. Research and development of the ‘Petals’ app was led by Professor Hazel Barrett and her team.
FGM actions at Coventry University
Coventry City Council
Coventry Haven offer information on free FGM training and the support services we offer. Open from Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female
Genital Mutilation, 6 February
“The Sustainable Development Goals contain a specific target calling for an end to FGM. When this practice is fully abandoned, positive effects will reverberate across societies as girls and women reclaim their health, human rights and vast potential.” — UN Secretary-General
United Nations Population Fund
BBC Podcast on FGM in Egypt
So why is FGM so prevalent in Egypt? Four expert witnesses tell us about the challenge of turning a widely-followed tradition into a crime.