International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation Date in the current year: February 6, 2017

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is an annual United Nations observance held on February 6.

This awareness day was first proposed in 2003 by Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation. It focuses on raising awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and promoting its eradication.

FGM is also referred to as female circumcision and female genital cutting. It is the procedure of ritual removal of some of the external female genitalia practiced by a number of ethnic groups in Africa and Asia. It is concentrated in twenty-seven countries in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen.

There are different types of FGM. Sometimes only the clitoral hood and clitoris are removed, but the most severe form includes the removal of the outer and inner labia and the closure of the vulva. The procedure may be conducted at various age depending on the ethnic group.

Although FGM has been restricted or outlawed in most countries, the laws are often poorly enforced, and girls still undergo this horrible procedure that has no health benefits but can have numerous complications. In 2012, the UN General Assembly unanimously recognized FGM as a human rights violation.

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UN Observances

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International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, UN observance, awareness day