International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Monday, 6 Feb 2017
Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. A day of global advocacy and a chance for people all over the world to raise their voices and make a difference for girls.

Our programme The Girl Generation, is sharing news and stories from its members on what they’re doing to end FGM in their countries.  See how grassroots organisations and individuals are changing the social norms that underpin FGM and having a real impact in the movement to end FGM in one generation. Follow and share to be part of the action!

The theme this year is “Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030.”

According to UNICEF reports, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 countries and 3 million are at risk every year.

Violence against women and girls is rooted in social norms that lead to gender-based inequalities and discrimination. To effectively reduce and prevent VAWG, these norms need to be countered and transformed at individual, family, community and societal levels.  This can be achieved through outreach, awareness-raising and social change communications.

Ending FGM, and indeed all violence against women and girls is one of the major challenges of our time. But one that Options is fully committed to.

The Girl Generation is our flagship programme that focusses on these issues. It is a social change communications initiative, supported by DFID, which provides a global platform for galvanising, catalysing and amplifying the Africa-led movement to end FGM.

Faith Mwangi Powell, The Girl Generation’s Global Director, says; “Ending FGM is everyone’s business. I call upon policymakers, funders and stakeholders to come together collectively to pursue our common goal. We should focus on building bridges this means working together as true and effective partners.”

Since its launch in 2014, The Girl Generation has continued to strengthen the global movement to end FGM with a number of successes, including:

  • Galvanising nearly 400 member organisations who are working to accelerate social change to end FGM. This change is visible in The Gambia where, building on decades of work by committed activists, young campaigners have spearheaded a unified coalition for change that in 2015 resulted in the then president enacting a law banning the practice. 
  • Strategically investing in and supporting existing youth organisations to mobilise their social capital and infrastructure. To date we have established three active youth networks in The Gambia, Kenya and Nigeria. These are driving forward their own action plans to end FGM with our ongoing support.
  • Supporting ambassadors to be a public face for the end FGM message, for communicating evidence of change, and supporting them to speak on diverse platforms, such as in the media, at conferences and through online platforms. We have 12 End FGM Ambassadors.
  • Our End FGM Grants Programme provides much-needed support to poorly resourced grassroots organisations working to end FGM.
  • Providing training in social change communication to over 140 individuals representing member organisations in Kenya, Nigeria and The Gambia, including activists, youth, ambassadors and grantees from the End FGM Grants Programme.
  • Contributing to successful advocacy to include an indicator and global target on ending FGM in the Sustainable Development Goals. This is significant as it ensures that governments globally, and not just in selected countries, will be held accountable to end FGM.

You can support International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and the wider end FGM movement by visiting The Girl Generations website and following them on Twitter.

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