26 January 2023

What is female genital mutilation?

An estimated 230 million girls and women worldwide have undergone some form of female genital mutilation (FGM) – many before the age of 15. Despite being internationally recognized as a human rights violation, FGM persists for various reasons. No matter where or how it is performed, FGM causes extreme physical and psychological harm., What is FGM?, Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is most often carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15. In every form in which it is practiced, FGM is a violation of girls’ and women’s…, How is FGM a risk for girls and women?, FGM has no health benefits and can lead to serious, long-term complications and even death. Immediate health risks include haemorrhage, shock, infection, HIV transmission, urine retention and severe pain. Psychological impacts can range from a girl losing trust in her caregivers, to longer-term feelings of anxiety and depression. In adulthood,…, Why is FGM still practiced?, Numerous factors contribute to the persistence of the practice. Yet in every society in which it occurs, FGM is an expression of deeply rooted gender inequality. Some societies see it as a rite of passage. Others use it to suppress a girl’s sexuality or ensure her chastity. FGM is not endorsed by Islam or Christianity, but religious texts are…, How is FGM a human rights violation?, No matter how it is practiced, FGM is a violation of universal human rights principles. FGM violates the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex. It violates the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It violates the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the right to…, How prevalent is FGM?, While the exact number of girls and women to have undergone FGM worldwide remains unknown, at least 230 million girls and women from 31 countries across three continents have been subjected to the practice. UNFPA estimates that over 4 million girls are at risk of FGM each year. In 2021, an additional 2 million cases of FGM were predicted to occur…, Where is FGM most common?, Although FGM is declining in the majority of countries where it is most prevalent, progress eliminating the practice has been uneven. In some countries, FGM remains as common today as it was three decades ago. Over 90 per cent of women and girls aged 15 – 49 have undergone some form of genital mutilation in Guinea and Somalia., What is the medicalization of FGM?, An alarming trend in some countries is the medicalization of FGM, in which the procedure is carried out by a health-care provider. Approximately one in four FGM survivors – some 52 million women and girls worldwide – were subjected to FGM at the hands of health personnel. Medicalization not only violates medical ethics, but it also risks…, How are attitudes towards FGM evolving?, Girls’ and women’s attitudes about FGM vary widely across countries where the practice is prevalent, but opposition is mounting.  Around 400 million people in FGM-practicing countries in Africa and the Middle East – two thirds of the population – are against it. Education is a pivotal factor: Girls and women with primary education are 30 per cent…, What is UNICEF doing to stop FGM?, Eliminating FGM requires coordinated efforts that engage whole communities – young people, parents, religious leaders, civil society organizations, activists, medical personnel, educators and policymakers. One of the most effective ways to end FGM is through collective abandonment, in which an entire community chooses to forgo the practice. This…, What impact has UNICEF’s work had?, Since the establishment of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation , 13 countries have passed national legislation banning FGM. The programme has also helped more than 6 million girls and women receive prevention, protection and treatment services related to FGM. Some 45 million people in communities across…, Learn more about FGM, Hear stories from survivors
01 June 2022

Global Annual Results Report 2021: Every child is protected from violence and exploitation

Working in close collaboration with a coalition of governments, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and other partners, UNICEF child protection (Goal Area 3) teams around the world were able to deliver a wide array of results across 153 countries, including to 124 new and ongoing humanitarian situations. Scaled-up interventions,…, 4.4 million children who experienced violence reached with related services (129 countries)  3 million parents and caregivers reached with UNICEF-supported parent education programmes (94 countries) Accelerating national progress to reduce all forms of violence  Across countries, the number of children experiencing violence who received health,…, child-soldier Child protection in humanitarian action, 12 million children, adolescents. parents and caregivers accessed mental health and psychosocial support  13.9 million women, girls and boys provided with risk mitigation, prevention or response interventions to address gender-based violence (89 countries) 61 million children and adults could access safe and accessible UNICEF-supported sexual…, portrait-girl Strengthening prevention and delivery of protection services to reduce harmful practices, Nearly 7.6 million adolescent girls were reached with UNICEF-supported child marriage prevention and care interventions (47 countries) Nearly 800k girls and women received UNICEF-supported prevention and protection services on FGM over the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 period Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF and partners have adapted to…, Mother-and-child Promoting access to justice, birth registration and alternative care, Over 45,000 children were released across at least 84 countries since the start of of the COVID-19 pandemic after an unprecedented global call for the immediate release of children from detention 13.9 million birth notifications were received (52 countries) 41 countries have comprehensive policies and programmes in line with the 2009 Guidelines…, portrait-girl Looking forward, UNICEF will continue to advocate for putting child rights at the heart of economic plans and priorities as countries continue to fight poverty within their borders and rebuild systems shattered by the pandemic.  UNICEF’s new Child Protection Strategy, 2021–2030 , launched in 2021, provides a pivotal opportunity to build on our experiences and…, With thanks, This report highlights the achievements made possible by the generous contributions of softly earmarked thematic funding received from various partners. UNICEF would like to express it's sincere appreciation for these contributions., Read more and support our work, June 2022, Global Annual Results Report 2021 GOAL AREA 3 Every child is protected from violence and exploitation Cover image: UNICEF/UN0484305/UNICEF Afghanistan Children playing outside with hula-hoops at Child Friendly Space built by UNICEF in Balkh, a northern province of Afghanistan. Expression of thanks: UNICEF/UN0456813/Fuad Hands of a young girl (15)…