On February 6, 2017, the International Day of Zero Tolerance to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C), Women Watch Afrika (WWA), Inc. joined the global community to emphasize its continuous efforts to eliminate the practice of FGM/C as part of its mission to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. FGM/C is a health issue, a form of gender-based violence, and it is against the law in the United States. Furthermore, FGM/C is a form of human rights abuse, as well as a form of child abuse. Over 200 million women and girls have undergone a form of FGM/C. Sometimes, the practice takes place in United States, but more often, females are sent abroad to undergo FGM/C. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that over 500,000 women and girls in the United States are at risk of or have been subjected to FGM/C.
Women Watch Afrika works to continually bring awareness to this situation, and so most especially on February 6, a day commemorated annually as Zero Tolerance Day for FGM/C, WWA put the spotlight on the harm FGM/C causes to women and girls in the United States and globally. Women Watch Afrika is unique in its manner of addressing this issue because WWA invites men to the table as men’s perceptions of FGM/C play a role in the existence and practice of FGM/C. WWA believes one cannot address violence against women (and girls) without bringing their counterparts to the table.
Please visit International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February for more information on FGM/C.
Author: Preye Cobham, Esq.