AFRICA: Afrique en Ligne reported on 8 February that UNFPA says 3 million girls are still at the risk of genital mutilation each year. In a message to mark International Day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), UNFPA called for a change of perception on the practice. The agency noted that decline in FGM had been recorded in some communities, which have chosen to make public declarations against the practice. It cited Senegal, where genital mutilation had declined by up to 65 percent. “Success in reducing the incidence in several countries where it was once highly prevalent has occurred as a result of culturally sensitive engagement with local communities and encouraging change from within,” UNFPA said. Read: Afrique en Ligne
BANGLADESH: Right Vision News reported on 13 February that UNFPA said over 130 million girls and women have undergone some form of genital cutting.
GAMBIA: Today reported on 8 February on the UNFPA statement on the International Day on Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Bintou Susso, UNFPA programme officer in Gambia said that the inclusion of men and boys in bringing about change in all aspects of promoting gender equality as well as accelerating the abandonment of FGM/C is necessary. This year's theme for the International Day on Zero Tolerance to FGM is "The Role of Men and Boys in the Eradication of FGM/C." Read: Today
YEMEN: IRIN reported on 10 February that, nearly a decade after a ban on health workers performing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Yemen, the harmful practice continues unabated, with the government saying more research is needed before an outright ban can be imposed. UNFPA and UNICEF recently estimated that worldwide 120-140 million women have been subjected to the practice and 3 million girls continue to be at risk each year. “The practice persists because it is sustained by social perceptions, including that girls and their families will face shame, social exclusion and diminished marriage prospects if they forego cutting. These perceptions can, and must, change,” said a joint UNFPA, UNICEF statement on 6 February, the international day against FGM. Read: IRIN
Yemen Observer reported on 9 February that on the occasion of the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, observed on 6 February, the UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman issued statement in which they stated that progress has been made in recent years in reducing the incidence of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), largely because communities and families are taking action and calling for change. Read: Yemen Observer