F emale genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) endures as an egregious violation of women’s and children’s rights. Despite growing survivor-led campaigns, thousands of community abandonment declarations, clear medical evidence documenting FGM/C’s negative physical and mental health effects, and multiple international agreements and national laws banning the practice, three million girls remain at risk each year and over 200 million girls and women have already been cut. Today in Africa, one girl is cut every ten seconds.
But the tide is turning. Global momentum against FGM/C is building. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have prioritized eliminating FGM/C as a key factor in achieving gender equality, and FGM/C is emerging as a growing resource mobilization priority. Two dozen of the 29 countries where the practice is concentrated have enacted legislation or decrees related to FGM/C. Activists in the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are standing up and ushering in a transformative process of social change.
The Wallace Global Fund is committed to ridding the world of FGM/C by 2030. The Fund partners with community-led groups in high-prevalence countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, working to end the practice. The Fund co-founded and continues to play a lead role in the Donors Working Group (DWG) on FGM/C alongside UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, and other bilateral and multilateral donors. The Fund supports global advocacy and resource mobilization efforts, so that in-country advocates and local communities receive the funding and political support needed to scale up their efforts. The Wallace Global Fund was honored to sponsor the groundbreaking End Violence Against Girls: Summit on FGM/C in Washington DC, which involved over 200 civil society organizations and FGM activists from around the world. The Fund is helping to launch a US End FGM/C Network to coordinate U.S. groups working to generate solutions to prevent FGM/C, facilitating future national, regional and global convenings, and striving to accelerate and amplify the powerful momentum towards the elimination of FGM/C
One in five of the world’s FGM/C victims lives in Egypt, and a powerful and diverse national coalition has formed to build support for FGM/C abandonment.
Equality Now facilitates powerful pan-African convenings and ongoing advocacy networks of grassroots activists from throughout the continent
The Kakenya Center, a model girls’ school located in the Maasai region of Kenya, admits students only from families that have pledged not to cut their daughters.
The London-based Orchid Project’s media and communications efforts have helped build policy and funding support for FGM/C abandonment in the UK and globally.
Safe Hands for Girls raises public awareness of FGM/C in the United States and was instrumental in banning the practice in The Gambia. A forthcoming documentary film will profile leader Jaha Dukureh’s personal journey and powerful global advocacy.
Tostan’s powerful rights-based community empowerment programs have led to public declarations abandoning FMG/C in 6,400 communities in eight African nations.