Ethiopian female genital mutilation must end, say the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Date:

Ethiopian female genital mutilation must end, say the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Monday, February 06, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • To enforce actions against female genital mutilation (FGM) and transform the deeply ingrained social and gender norm that supports the practice, UNFPA and UNICEF call for a long-term partnership and engagement with men and boys in Ethiopia.

  • Under the topic of “partnering with men and boys to shift societal and gender norms to stop female genital mutilation,” the call was issued on the International Day of Zero Tolerance Against FGM.FGM frequency among women and girls aged 15 to 49 has decreased dramatically in Ethiopia during the past ten years, falling from 74% in 2005 to 66% in 2016.

  • However, there are still 25 million circumcised women and girls living in Ethiopia.

  • With 86.7 percent of boys and men and 793 percent of girls and women aged 15 to 49 believing that FGM should not continue as a practice, Ethiopia, one of the nations participating in the joint programme execution, has made progress in changing its attitude about the procedure.

  • Through transformative life skills training, including sexual and reproductive health education, UNFPA and UNICEF alone have reached over 207,700 teenage girls in and out of school in 2022, empowering them to fight for norm change in their communities.

To enforce actions against female genital mutilation (FGM) and transform the deeply ingrained social and gender norm that supports the practice, UNFPA and UNICEF call for a long-term partnership and engagement with men and boys in Ethiopia. This will enable girls and women to realise their rights and potential fully. Under the topic of “partnering with men and boys to shift societal and gender norms to stop female genital mutilation,” the call was issued on the International Day of Zero Tolerance Against FGM.

FGM frequency among women and girls aged 15 to 49 has decreased dramatically in Ethiopia during the past ten years, falling from 74% in 2005 to 66% in 2016. However, there are still 25 million circumcised women and girls living in Ethiopia. This represents the most considerable absolute number in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Dr. Aboubacar Kampo, the UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia, said, “I would like to congratulate the Ethiopian Government on the progress made thus far and for their commitment to abolishing FGM. “Girls are forced to undergo FGM, a blatant violation of their protection rights. To shift mindsets and provide the next generation of girls a better chance at living healthy lives, we must all work harder to stop this terrible practice.

In Ethiopia, maintaining women’s virginity until marriage and defending family honour are the two primary justifications for performing FGM on girls and women. These justifications include living up to societal expectations, including traditions, culture, and norms that exert control over women’s sexuality. These arguments are assertions based on cultural and erroneous assumptions passed down from generation to generation and eventually come to be accepted as fact. Partnering with and involving boys and men are essential in spreading knowledge of FGM and its dangers.

Boys and men are essential to achieving UNFPA’s transformative goal of ending harmful practices like FGM and gender-based violence against women and girls. As we commemorated the beginning of our operations in Ethiopia 50 years ago, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthening our engagement with the Ethiopian government and other partners to end this practice that violates the rights of women and girls to bodily autonomy.

The goal of the National Costed Roadmap to End Child Marriage and FGM by 2025 is to protect the 3.6 million girls who are thought to be in danger of having FGM. One of the key strategies in this National Roadmap is the significance of engaging with men and boys.

With 86.7 percent of boys and men and 793 percent of girls and women aged 15 to 49 believing that FGM should not continue as a practice, Ethiopia, one of the nations participating in the joint programme execution, has made progress in changing its attitude about the procedure.

Through transformative life skills training, including sexual and reproductive health education, UNFPA and UNICEF alone have reached over 207,700 teenage girls in and out of school in 2022, empowering them to fight for norm change in their communities. The joint programme has also teamed with almost 28,000 men and boys in the local community to promote strong masculinity and egalitarian gender norms and to speak out against the practice of FGM. On the other hand, Ethiopia needs to step up its efforts eight times faster to meet the SDG 5.3 goal of ending FGM by 2030.

UNFPA and UNICEF are urging the National Roadmap for Ethiopia’s protection of women and girls. To safeguard girls and women from all harmful practices, including FGM, and to provide them with the chance to realise their full potential in terms of health, education, and income, men and boys must work together more effectively.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

APO has issued this press release. The editorial team of AUN News does not monitor the content, and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editors, proofreaders, or fact-checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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