International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on February 6 as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation. It was first introduced in 2003.
In most cultures, there is a passage to adulthood; this includes practices and norms that may be good or harmful to a person in the long run. Female Genital Mutilation is one of these practices and practiced in most countries across the globe including Uganda.
Female genital mutilation refers to the complete or partial removal of external female genitalia. It involves piercing and cutting off the clitoris, or sewing shut all or part of a girl’s or a woman’s external genitals. The removal of female genitalia has roots in thousands of years of gender inequality and exists to date.
The United Nations General Assembly declared February 6 as the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation to create awareness about this humanitarian crisis which to some it is a rite of passage into womanhood while others practice it to control a woman’s sexuality and pleasure.
The act can severely impact the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls. Women who are subjected to genital mutilation are at risk of postpartum hemorrhage, fetal death, obstructed labor, and HIV infection. The psychological effects of female genital mutilation are insidious and long-lasting. Residual trauma can lead to behavioral issues in children, debilitating anxiety, stress, and sexual dysfunction.
The 2023 theme is, “Partnership with Men and Boys to transform Social and gender Norms to End FGM“. As Ssamba Foundation, we are working with local leaders, women in these communities to see that we put an end to such practices through educating them the dangers and side effects of the practice.
6th- February- 2023