UN SG praises campaign to end female genital mutilation
UN SG praises campaign to end female genital mutilation

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Thursday praised [speech text] the launch of a global media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) [WHO backgrounder] stating that “[e]nding FGM is part of the UN’s unwavering campaign for the health, human rights and empowerment of women and girls.” The Secretary-General acknowledged anti-FGM campaigns in the United Kingdom, the United States, The Gambia and Kenya commending the work of governments and activists to combat the “brutal practice.” Ban also announced a joint grant program between the UN Population Fund and The Guardian [official website] which will be “awarded to a number of the country’s leading media houses to help support their reporting on FGM.” The Secretary-General pointed out the considerable power the media plays in educating populations stating that “change can happen through sustained media attention on the damaging public health consequences of FGM, as well as on the abuse of the rights of hundreds of thousands of women and girls around the world.” The UN leader also praised the work of The Girl Generation [advocacy website], which is rolling out a 10-country campaign fighting to end FGM.

The UN has consistently campaigned [JURIST news archive] for an end to FGM labeling the practice, among other things, gender-based discrimination, torture, an affront to human dignity and an irreparable, irreversible abuse of the human rights of women and girls. In July UK Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] announced [JURIST report] plans to enact new laws that will protect girls from the practice. In July 2013 noting the continued pervasiveness of FGM, UNICEF reported [JURIST report] a world-wide decline in the practice due to multiple campaigns intended to educate parents on the emotional and physical health risks associated with the procedure and its aftermath. In December 2009 Uganda outlawed [JURIST report] FGM. However, the majority of FGM procedures occur in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.