Everywhere it is practiced, female genital mutilation (FGM) is an expression of entrenched gender inequality. Girls subjected to FGM are subjected to a systematic form of violence. Survivors often require life-saving care – urgent treatment to staunch haemorrhage, antibiotics to quell infections, surgery to address urinary backup or emergency obstetric care for complicated deliveries.
FGM persists for various reasons, including cultural and economic factors that make it difficult for girls, women and communities to abandon the practice. But it cannot forever withstand the voices of survivors mobilizing to change beliefs. The aim of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme is to accelerate the inevitable demise of this harmful practice.