Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

06 February 2019

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© UN Photo/P. Mugabane

On 20 December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/67/146 in which it “calls upon States, the United Nations system, civil society and all stakeholders to continue to observe 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and to use the day to enhance awareness-raising campaigns and to take concrete actions against female genital mutilations”.

Female genital mutilation is a global human rights issue affecting girls and women in every region of the world. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances between men and women – and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential in terms of health, education and income.  

Ending female genital mutilation takes work at many levels, from dialogue and action that engages families and communities, to protection and care services for girls and women, laws and their enforcement, and political commitment at the local, regional, national and international levels. 

Eliminating female genital mutilation is a critical step towards realizing other Sustainable Development Goals, which focus on gender equality, good health and well-being, safe motherhood, quality education, inclusive societies and economic growth.

UN Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February 2019