The International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is a United Nations campaign held on February 6 to stop the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on girls and women. This commemoration is part of a combined effort by the UN to meet one of its Sustainable Development Goals — Goal 5. This goal aims at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, with a key target that aims to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM.
What is FGM?:
Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons. It is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights, health and the integrity of girls and women. About 200 million women have been subject to FGM according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 28 countries and more including countries like Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti where FGM is prevalent.
The UN first officially commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6, 2003. It continues to fight against FGM through a range of activities in addition to the observance. For 2021, the theme is — “No Time for Global Inaction: Unite, Fund and Act to End FGM” emphasises the need for global solution to the scourge that FGM has become and the need to collaborate and work together with stakeholders to end the practice of FGM in our communities.
This day has been commemorated in the past under these themes
- 2016: Achieving the new Global Goals through the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030
- 2017: Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030
- 2018: Ending Female Genital Mutilation, a Political Decision
- 2019: Translating Political Decisions into Concrete Actions at the Grassroots
- 2020: Unleashing Youth Power: One Decade of Accelerating Actions for Zero FGM
Various activities and events are held on February 6 each year to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For previous commemorations and projects on Ending FGM in Nigeria, Onelife Initiative for Human Development has hosted a poster art competition, made cartoon publications on effects of FGM, produced radio jingles in major languages spoken in Nigeria, trained journalists and young men who are End FGM advocates from communities where FGM is prevalent in Ibadan Oyo state, Nigeria.
This year we will be having Young Men End FGM advocates share their experiences from advocating and describing the realities of FGM in their communities. We will also have radio discussions to drive conversations around FGM and explain some of the actions that can be taken to end FGM. Onelife Initiative has worked in 19 states in Nigeria on various projects designed at ending female genital mutilation through supports from partners like the Global Media Campaign to EndFGM, The Girl Generation, YouthHub Africa/UNFPA, Wallace Global Fund, and others.
To follow our activities this year, starting with the countdown to the day, follow us on our social media handles on Twitter @onelifeng, Facebook and Instagram @Onelifeinitiative.