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Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) – unacceptable pain

The organisation, Tostan, which is supported by UNFPA, works to eradicate female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). These Senegalese girls have been spared FGM/C due to Tostan’s work
Photo: UNFPA

Denmark supports the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)’s work to eradicate FGM/C. More than 120 million women have undergone FGM/C in the 28 countries in Africa and Yemen where this practice has been documented. These women live their daily lives in pain and also experience serious health-related consequences. Up to 30 million girls aged 0-15 remains at risk of FGM/C. It is a painful practice which may lead to death – and it is also a gross violation of the human rights of the girls affected.

The goal of UNFPA’s work is to eradicate FGM/C within a single generation, and progress is being made to achieve this goal: In Senegal, for example, FGM/C has been illegal since 1999. Since 1997, a total of 5,551 local communities in the country have officially declared that they will no longer engage in this practice. Information campaigns are the focal point of UNFPA’s efforts. Religious leaders play a role in confirming that FGM/C is not rooted in religious tradition. Villagers receive instruction about the negative health impacts as well as about human rights and gender equality. This work is carried out in close cooperation with local organisations, which take a point of departure in local circumstances and can engage in dialogue with local communities and families. UNFPA also works at national level to promote the development of national policies against FGM/C.

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