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Media Advisory - Girl Summit: Ending female genital mutilation and child marriage within a generation

What: UNICEF to co-host an international summit with the UK Government to rally a growing movement to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. UNICEF will release new data and projections on FGM/C and child marriage. Press release and the new data to follow on Friday 18 July, UNDER EMBARGO for 0001 GMT 22 July 2014.

When: 22 July 2014

Who: UNICEF Child Protection experts attending the Summit and available for interview:

• Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection 
• Francesca Moneti, Senior Child Protection Specialist
• Anju Malhotra, Principal Adviser on Gender
• Cody Donohue, Child Protection Specialist
• Claudia Cappa, Statistics & Monitoring Specialist
• Manuel Fontaine, Regional Director, West and Central Africa
• Andrew Brooks, Regional Adviser, Child Protection, West and Central Africa

Field experts available from: Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Niger, Sierra Leone and Sudan, plus regional bureaux for West and Central Africa, and East and Southern Africa.

Where: London, United Kingdom

Why: FGM/C and child marriage deny a staggering number of girls the right to live healthy, fulfilling lives free from violence and discrimination. When a girl is cut or becomes a child bride, her rights, and thus the rights of every girl and woman across her society, are cruelly devalued.

Girls who undergo FGM/C are at risk of prolonged bleeding, infection including HIV, infertility, and death. A girl who is married as a child is more likely to be out of school, experience domestic abuse and contract sexually transmitted infections.  She will have children when she herself is still a child, and is far more likely to die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth than women in their twenties.

Many of the solutions to end these practices already exist within communities, and should be showcased, supported and taken to scale. Without intensive and sustained action now from all parts of society, hundreds of millions more girls will suffer profound, permanent, and utterly un-necessary harm.

The international summit will bring together leaders from across the world, including government representatives, international organizations, the private sector and girls themselves to rally action to end FGM/C and child marriage for all girls, everywhere.



UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.
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For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Rose Foley, UK National Committee for UNICEF; Tel: + 44 7964 296 431; rosef@unicef.org.uk

Claire Blackburn, UK National Committee for UNICEF; Tel: +44 7838 555 618; claireb@unicef.org.uk

Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York; Tel: +1 917 209 1804; nmekki@unicef.org

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF New York; Tel: +1 917 213 5188; mmercado@unicef.org





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