Today is the International Day for Zero Tolerance against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is the partial or total removal of female genitalia or other injury to the female genitalia for non medical reasons. 100-140 million girls have undergone FGM within the 28 countries in Africa that practice FGM and about 3 million at risk of undergoing the cut each year. According to the Population Reference Bureau, recent data reflects a decrease in incidences of cutting among the younger women. There are a lot of activities scheduled to mark the day both in the social media and on the ground. In Kenya, the government in collaboration with some of the organizations working against FGM/C, activists and community leaders has converged in Samburu to mark the day.
The initiative to end FGM came from both who are directly and indirectly affected: women, girls, advocates, doctors, fathers, husbands, and governments have marshaled efforts in various areas to end FGM. When we put efforts towards a common good, we will have fulfilling results in the end. While there are skeptics who want to justify the cut, women should not give up or slow down the efforts. Let’s remain #TogetherForZero.
As we look forward to a world free of FGM, I would like to tell all comrades kudos, for your efforts are not fruitless. We should not tire in this fight. As the Igbo proverb says,“The hunger that has hope for its satisfaction does not kill.”