About the Author: Melanne Verveer serves as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and David M. Robinson serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.
Today, on the Ninth Annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, we stand in solidarity with men and women who are working to address and prevent this practice that takes place in many countries around the world. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) occurs across cultures and religions, although no religion mandates the procedure. It is a practice rooted in beliefs about the “dangers” of women’s sexuality, and involves a rite of passage into adulthood that has extremely detrimental consequences on the health and overall well-being of women and girls subjected to it.
It is estimated that 100 to 140 million women globally have undergone this procedure and three million girls are at risk every year. Cutting is often performed by untrained practitioners, employing no anesthesia and often using such instruments as broken glass,… more »