International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation reminds us of the continued prevalence of this international violation of the human rights of girls and women, deep-rooted in inequality and discrimination, breaching their rights to health, security and integrity.
According to UNICEF female genital mutilation continues to be on the rise among Nigerian girls aged 0-14, while accounting for the third highest number of women and girls who have been subjected to FGM globally. Over 68 million girls worldwide are estimated to be at risk of female genital mutilation during the 15-year plan to achieve the United Nations Global Goals SDGs, with 4.32 million in 2023 alone.
As a UNFPA community stakeholder committed to the Nairobi Summit ICPD+25, WBFA aims to achieve; zero unmet needs for family planning and services, zero preventable maternal and infant deaths, zero sexual and gender-based violence including early and forced marriage, as well as female genital mutilation by advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health, reinforcing the goal to end preventable maternal deaths.
Our Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Mamacare360 Midwives work daily to protect the health, wellbeing, childhoods, education and ambitions of our girls and women, within the primary healthcare centres, households, schools and communities to engage families and focus on gender equality. Through safe space counselling during our Mamacare 360 programme, we are able to detect and support FGM survivors, and provide the opportunity to break the cycle by using education and awareness to urge mothers not to subject their daughters to this harmful practice.
We must all continue to come together to accelerate our efforts to achieve a safe Nigeria for all, and eliminate this harmful practice completely.