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Today is the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation

By Carmen Paun     Feb 6, 2011 in Health
Brussel - The 6th of February marks the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton and European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding released a joint statement condemning the practice.
The European Union (EU), through the voice of its two high officials, strongly condemned today "this abhorrent practice that severely violates the human rights and dignity of hundreds of thousands women and girl".
The EU reaffirmed today its commitment to work against what it called an exceptionally brutal crime. "Female genital mutilation violates women’s and girls’ rights to equal opportunities, health, freedom from violence, injury, abuse, torture and cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment. We believe that it is our duty to protect girls and women from the risk of mutilation and to alleviate the pain of women who live with the horrific physical and mental scars from female genital mutilation". the joint statement read.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15. Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths. In Africa an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM. The WHO estimates that 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. It also states that this procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
Although some see it as a cultural tradition aimed to prove the virginity of girls when getting married, FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The 6th of February is the day when the world remembers about this condemned practice.
More about Female genital mutilation, International day, 6 February
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