6th February, 2010 - UNICEF Sudan supports International Day to celebrate abandonment of FGM/C
Khartoum - UNICEF Sudan voices support for men and boys across the country playing their role to put an end to FGM/C on the International Day to promote abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting.
The focus of this year’s international event is to recognize and encourage positive actions taken by men and boys to stop the practice.
Most recent figures for Sudan, which come from the 2006 Sudan Household Health Survey (SHHS), show that 89 per cent of females aged between 15 and 49 years of age have been subjected to FGM/C.
Nonetheless, attitudes do seem to be gradually changing. In 2006, SHHS found that 51 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 who had been married supported the continuation of FGM/C, a decrease from 79 per cent in research from 1989.
Research shows that FGM/C is physically and psychologically harmful, and that it has direct and indirect repercussions on increasing maternal mortality, infertility, and possibility of communicating viruses such as HIV.
Some studies have confirmed the role men play in taking the decision to cut girls or in influencing the continuation of this harmful tradition.
“If this kind of harm was inflicted on men and boys to this extent I’m sure we would have been out there fighting to stop FGM/C a long time ago,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Mr Nils Kastberg,
“UNICEF and the National Council for Child Welfare (NCCW) want to encourage families across the country to abandon FGM/C and to celebrate when girls are protected from cutting,” Mr Kastberg added.
To mark the International Day of “Zero Tolerance to FGM/C” UNICEF and the NCCW are staging events across north Sudan at both federal and state levels.
In Khartoum there will be a celebration by the NCCW and NGOs using role play, songs, football competitions and exhibitions. Gedaref River Nile, Red Sea and North Darfur have similar efforts and events planned. In Kassala three boys’ schools will organise activities discussions and drama events and three communities will organise public declarations to collectively abandon FGM/C.
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