International Day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation has been observed annually on February 6 since 2003 by the United Nations to create awareness. The UN had taken this decision to raise awareness against female genital mutilation (FGM).
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an intolerable culture developed all over the world, in which the external female genital is being partially or entirely removed to curb their sexual urge and desire. The World Health Organisation has recognised four kinds of FGM.
According to WHO, Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.
Type 1: this is the partial or total removal of the clitoral glans (the external and visible part of the clitoris, which is a sensitive part of the female genitals), and the prepuce / clitoral hood (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoral glans).
Type 2: this is the partial or total removal of the clitoral glans and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without removal of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva).
Type 3: Also known as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoral prepuce/clitoral hood and glans (Type I FGM).
Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g., pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterising the genital area.
This process is being done without proper anaesthesia and in the absence of medical experts or supervision.
Female Genital Mutilation – a violation of human rights
In a nutshell, FGM is counterproductive for women’s health, which leads to pain, bleeding, infection, high fever, and so on. In the long term, some other complications arise such as vaginal infections, urinary, extreme pain during intercourse and problems during childbirth. In some cases, it may be life-threatening. Generally, this practice is being tried on minor girls, who can’t raise their voice against the fascist law of the earth. The FGM is a severe violation of human rights – the right to privacy, freedom of security of person and right to bodily integrity as well.
India joins hand with the UN
India has decided to remain with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for eradicating FGM. It is a global issue, FGM has been going on in more than 30 countries. Female genital mutilation is also persisting among the immigrant population living in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Overall it is a global issue like-minded people, and organisations should come on one platform to fight against FGM.
Elimination of FGM a big task
How to eliminate female genital mutilation is a big concern. It is not possible without coordination, and systematic efforts with the sole focus on human rights, gender equality, sexual education apart from this utmost attention is required to pay to girls and women who suffer from FGM’s outcome.
The theme of 2020
To wipe out female genital mutilation in a decade, the world bodies will need support from all quarters. Youngsters have the responsibility to uproot this evil practice. Therefore, the theme of this year’s International Day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation 2020 is Unleashing Youth Power: One decade of accelerating actions for zero female genital.
This practice has been continuing for more than a thousand-year. So, it is impossible to end female genital mutilation overnight. The United Nations has framed time limitations of its removal. The UN has decided to eradicate FGM by 2030. The UNFPA, along with UNICEF, has been focussing on 17 countries in Africa and Asia since 2008 to control FGM. This partnership has seen significant success. As per the report, 3.3 million girls and women got benefitted from this joint program. Meanwhile, 13 countries have taken initiatives to ban female genital mutilation.
Facts of FGM
The harsh realities of FGM are shocking. Female genital mutilation is a process to alter the female genital without any medical reason, which is globally recognised as the violation of the human rights of girls and women. At present, at least 200 million girls and women have undergone through the FGM process; it is an oppressive and extreme form of discrimination against the fair sex. The cruel practice violates the rights of girls and women.
Purpose of promoting awareness
The goal of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation is to promote awareness and pass the knowledge of the unfortunate effect of FGM. Experts are called to share their experience of different countries, how to make the girls agree not to go for FGM, how did they face the opposition or challenge. FGM victims are also called to share their personal experiences. Other activities such as round-table talks, photo competition, essay writing, and making laws to remove FGM also take place.
In spite of all the efforts, the practise of FGM is on the rampage. The United Nations and everyone needs to aggressively pursue the ban of this evil practice across the world.