Every year, February 6th is observed as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and mobilize efforts to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a harmful cultural practice that affects women and girls all over the world.

FGM involves partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is recognized as a human rights violation and has been banned in many countries, but it continues to be widely practiced in some communities around the world. The international community recognizes the importance of ending FGM through increased education, community mobilization, and legal action.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: History & Significance

On February 6, 2003, Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, made the official declaration on “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC). Then the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights adopted this day as an international awareness day.

The first International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was observed on February 6th, 2003. As a way to raise awareness about the harmful practice of FGM and mobilize efforts to end it, the United Nations General Assembly established the day. The day has been celebrated annually since 2003 as a way to educate the public, particularly young people, about the dangers of FGM and to promote the rights of women and girls. Various events are organized to raise awareness and promote the elimination of FGM on this day, such as public gatherings, conferences, and cultural performances.

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