Through her official Twitter, the president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa, advocated for accelerated action to end female genital mutilation, which violates the rights of girls and women around the world.
A woman takes photos at the photo exhibition of "The 68 Million Girls at Risk" on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Feb. 6, 2019. "It is a violation of human rights and has to stop now". For instance, babies born to women who have undergone FGM are prone to having a higher rate of neonatal death.
FGM refers to the practice that involves the partial or total removal or adjustment of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, resulting in deep-rooted inequality between the sexes and constituting a form of discrimination against females.
The strategy involves several dimensions: enforcing the criminalization of female genital mutilation, applying ministerial decisions against FGM, changing society to support the rights of children and women and developing information systems monitoring and evaluating programs for family empowerment programs and combating female circumcision.
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WHO promotes medically and technically-based policies to eliminate the practice, while working through a research and development programme, shining a light on the issue as it relates to women's health, reproductive and human rights.
A circular letter was issued by the Minister of Health in October 2017 requiring hospitals and governmental and private health facilities to inform the police when receiving complications resulting from female genital mutilation.
While concentrated mainly in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, it is a universal problem and occurs in some countries in Asia and Latin America.
The UN said the practice "reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls".