Tanzania: Female Genital Mutilation - UN Day of Zero-Tolerance

Photo: IRIN
Laws against FGM/C have driven the practice underground

TODAY, February 6, is the United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

It is NOT a public holiday, although it is dedicated to international observation as part of combined efforts by the United Nations Organisation to meet one of its 'Sustainable Development Goals' programme to year-2030 (SDG-2030).

Goal Number-5 out of the 17 SDGs includes Gender Equality. This - together with women's empowerment-is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, roughly a mere 11 years hence.

Therefore, ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right; it is also crucial to accelerating sustainable development, analysts pontificate...

With the elimination of FGM as a key target under Goal-5, the SDG's aim here is to build on these achievements. This is with a view to ensuring that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere across Planet Earth this side of Heaven.

According to the year-2018 report of the United Nation's Secretary-General titled 'The Sustainable Development Goals Report-2018:' "one-in-three girls aged 15-to-19 years in 2017 had been subjected to female genital mutilation in the 30 countries where the practice is concentrated - compared to nearly one-in-two in year-2000." [<https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5>].

Titled 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,' SDG-5 notes that "gender inequalities are still deeply rooted in every society.

Many women still lack access to employment opportunities, basic education and healthcare-and they're often subjected to violence and discrimination.

"The math is simple: in countries where there's higher equality, there's less poverty, more economic growth, and a higher standard of living.

Therefore, let us improve opportunities for everyone by dismantling barriers to women's participation in economic, social and political life." [For details, just Google <https://www.globalgiving.org/sdg/>].

Roughly put, female gender mutilation-better known as 'female circumcision' down the annals of History-involves 'cutting off the clitoris, removal of some or all of the labia minora, or stitching shut of the labia majora.' This is conducted ostensibly to "control the woman; to keep her from being sexually promiscuous, as well as prepare her for marriage and for religious purposes..." [See '10 facts about female genital mutilation that will horrify you,' by Eli Long, February 7, 2017: <https://listverse.com/2017/10-facts->].

Although it is generally shouted from the housetops that FGM "is a barbaric practice commonly found in Africa, Asia and several countries in the Middle East," the fact of the matter is that the 'barbarism' is also practised to a certain extent in the United States of America (US), the self-styled 'Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!'

As it is, female genital mutilation has been a Federal crime in the US since 1996: solid proof that the practice does indeed exist in Donald Trump country!

A joint study in January 2016 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (US-HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) established that "an estimated 513,000 girls and women had undergone-or had been at risk of being subjected to-female genital mutilation!"

Another study by the Population Reference Bureau conducted in February 2015 "estimated that 507,000 girls and women living in the US were at risk of-or had been subjected to-female genital mutilation. This just proves that we need more information about the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the United States..." [vide supra: <https://listverse.com/2017/10-facts->].

Doesn't this then make America the 'Land of the Free, Home of the Brave and NewFound Land for FG Mutilators and the Mutilated?'. [Established in the US in 1929, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) is a private, nonprofit organization specializing in collecting and supplying statistics for research and/or academic purposes focused on the environment, health and structure of populations].

So, the US should today, February 6, also join global efforts to extirpate FGM root and branch-not only on its territory, but also across the world. It should do this in much the same way it is straining to surmount global terrorism, HIV/Aids and the gazillion other maladies discombobulating Mankind this side of Hades.

Oh... I nearly forgot that February 6 is also the date on which King George-VI of the UK and British Dominions (born 'Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor' on Dec. 14, 1895) died from coronary thrombosis/lung cancer at 56 years of age in 1952.

George-VI was automatically succeeded on the spot by his eldest child, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, as Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth-II, who was at the time holidaying in Kenya next-door. (Cheers!)...

The 92-year old Queen Bess has become the longest-reigning British Monarch ever: 67 years on the Throne-and still counting -followed by Queen Victoria: 63 years from June 1837 to Jan. 1901... Cheers, again!

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