International: Today: the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation
Despite these findings, an estimated 100 million to 140 million women and girls worldwide have undergone the practice and 3 million more girls are at risk each year. Many women and girls are traumatized by the experience and suffer in silence, afraid of being excluded from their communities.
In line with the resolution, UNFPA calls on governments to develop effective policies for the elimination of female genital mutilation. We urge all decision makers, at all levels, to play leadership roles in eliminating female genital mutilation. We call on national and community leaders to support the development of prevention and educational programmes, which take into account local beliefs and realities.
Intensified efforts are urgently needed to stop the practice in all its forms. Today, UNFPA pledges to increase support for efforts to end female genital mutilation. We call on governments and other partners to contribute to the UNFPA/UNICEF joint programme and trust fund to end the harmful practice in one generation in 17 high-prevalence countries.
At UNFPA, we remain committed to women’s empowerment and gender equality and the right to sexual and reproductive health."
-- Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director, UNFPA
6 February 2008