INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FGM

Feb 10, 2016

Puntland Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, UNDP, International NGOs and local civil society constituents including women’s and youth groups gathered together in Garowe to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM under the theme of ‘Achieving a new global target of eliminating FGM by 2030”.


Garowe, 6 February 2016 – Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs together with the members of the Working Group (WG) on gender-based violence (GBV), including UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, UNDP, INGOs and local civil society constituents held a commemoration ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.

The commemoration event was characterized diverse level of representation and attended by representatives of civil society constituents, youth and women’s groups and associations, artists and university students, who delivered statements calling for the complete elimination of FGM.

The theatre performance focused on FGM and the role of male involvement in ending the traditional harmful practice.  

UNFPA Head of Field Office, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov delivered a statement thanking the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs, local civil society constituents and International development partners for their unwavering support and concerted efforts in overturning FGM practice and raising their voice in support of the complete elimination of FGM. He quoted the joint statement by UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, and UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, which would be distributed among media contacts, government representatives and other partners. Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov noted that FGM is known to be harmful to girls and women in many ways, causing several immediate and long-term health consequences. He also took note of the good ground and promising endeavours in Puntland for achieving the new global target of eliminating FGM by 2030, including the decree outlawing all types of FGM and related policy, as well as Fatwa Declaration (religious ruling) in support of a complete abandonment of all types of FGM in one generation. He quoted the well-known Ayah saying that human beings are created in best shape and structure, which is one of the key messages in support of the complete elimination of FGM and also included in Puntland Fatwa Declaration calling for a complete abandonment of all types of FGM as follows:

¡ قال تعالى ( لقدخلقنا الإنسان في أحسن تقويم) في سورة التين  الأية(٤)


UNDP Gender Analyst, Ms. Judith Otieno noted that women are key actors in peace and ensuring sustainable development. Empowering women and respect for women’s rights are key to peace and stability. Ms. Otieno also noted that families carry out FGM to ensure the marriageability and status of their daughters, which necessitates male involvement as a crucial strategy for ending FGM. She took note of the high FGM prevalence rate in Somalia.

UN Women Head of Field Office, Mr. Pusparaj Mohanty delivered a statement on behalf of UN Women. He underlined that FGM is a practice to perpetuate gender inequality and subordination of women. He further noted that FGM is a traditional harmful practice that has nothing to do with any religion, given the fact that it is not practiced in many countries.  He emphasised the importance of community mobilization and urged the audience to engage in proactive awareness raising and sensitization initiatives in their families and communities. He also highlighted that it should be a two- pronged approach, where community mobilization and policy formulation should go in tandem.  


Mr. Abdirizak Hassan spoke on behalf of gender-based violence working group focusing on the overall progress and milestone achievement on the path to the complete abandonment of FGM.

Representatives of Nugal Women’s Association urged the audience to take the message and commitment back to their communities, and called for wide media coverage of FGM issues as well as advocacy for the draft FGM Bill.  Representatives of local NGOs and university student talked about health and social consequences of FGM as well as more of such gatherings to boost up and maintain the commitment to the complete elimination of FGM.

Director General of the Ministry Women Development and Family Affairs, Mr. Abdirizak Nuh emphasised the central role of the Ministry in community mobilization and sensitization. He reaffirmed the Ministry’s resolve to continue supporting communities in eliminating the FGM practice.

For more information, please contact:

Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs: Consultant, Mr. Abdijabar Rashid +252907983740
jabirconsultant@gmail.com

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