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February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 

Filed in Event News by on January 23, 2018


February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. FGM is an abbreviation for female genital mutilation», also known as female genital cutting (FGC.) Although practiced for several thousand years in diverse regions of the world, FGC has generated little research, and the full extent of the short-and long-term health consequences is unclear. Today, the practice of FGC is considered to be a gross international infringement on the rights of women and constitutes child abuse against girls.

However, FGC awareness is increasing. In 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health» (OWH) announced its efforts to address FGC in the United States and a practice known as “vacation cutting”, which entails travelling abroad for the purpose of FGC.

More than twenty years ago, California passed legislation» to address FGC in immigrant populations that traditionally adhere to the practice.

In 2017, Senate Resolution 17» revived this commitment, citing February 6 as Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting Awareness Day» in California, coinciding with the United Nations same-day recognition of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM».

Key Facts

  • FGC is a violation of the human rights of girls and women
  • Globally, an estimated 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGC
  • FGC is carried out primarily on young girls, sometimes during infancy
  • Globally, girls age 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut
  • The Federal Republic of Somalia contends with the highest prevalence (98%) of FGC among girls and women aged 15 to 49
  • FGC causes severe short- and long-term health consequences, including cysts, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 call for an end to FGC by 2030 under Goal 5 of Gender Equality
  • Numerous inter-governmental organizations, including the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations General Assembly, have called for the elimination of FGC

How to Report FGC
California County Emergency Response
Child Abuse Reporting Hotline, San Diego 
(800) 344–6000

County of San Diego
Child Abuse Hotline 
(858) 560–2191

Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Department of Justice 
(202) 616–2492

San Diego FBI Field Office 
(858) 320–1800

US Department of Health and Human Services
Office on Women’s Health 
(800) 994–9662
Local Resources
>Women’s HEALTH—Health, Education, and Lifestyle Training Hub»
Defenseless Against Female Genital Cutting» 
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health» (OWH)

International Resources
International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM» 
UNICEF—Current Status + Progress»
WHO Factsheet on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)»


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