"Unleashing Youth Power: One decade of accelerating actions for zero female genital"

Female Mutilation/Cutting (FGM) is widely recognized as a serious assault on women and girls’ human rights principles and standards.


However, it is practised for centuries among population groups in at least 29 countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, affecting the following human rights of women and girls aged 15 to 49:


  • The principles of equality and non-discrimination based on sex,
  • The right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment,
  • The right to the highest attainable standard of health,
  • The rights of the child,
  • The right to physical and mental integrity,
  • In some cases, the right to life.

Due to the previsions of population growth by 2050, nearly one in three births worldwide will occur in the 29 countries where FGM is practised, meaning that the number of girls and women assaulted will increase.


Calling upon the youth determination and investing in young people to mobilize their modernity and instruments towards the eradication of FGM is crucial.


FGM can never be admitted nor be safe in a woman’s or girl’s life as clearly reflected in target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


As Soroptimists, we have been conducting transformational breakthroughs on this thematic, alerting and advocating that female genital mutilation (FGM) is unacceptable, harmful and a form of violence against women and girls.


We defend that women need to be healthy to have reproductive rights, to realize their full potential and to live in a world free of violence.


Soroptimist International of Europe and its President, Anna Wszelaczyńska, join the global strategy to continue taking all necessary action and projects for FGM to be an illegal practice under criminal and human rights law, calling for effective implementation measures accordingly.


We note with appreciation the several outcomes achieved in the past 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, but we should not have to wait another 25 years for gender equality.


This practice needs to end now.


Rita Nogueira Ramos, SIE 1st Vice President

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