A bit late, but I thought this was worth sharing. It's a repost from here:
On This Day in Herstory, February 6th 2003, the United Nations proclaimed this day every year be recognized as International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).
Female genital mutilation is the practice or ritual of cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. FGM is most commonly practiced in 29 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East; but it is a universal problem, and continues to persist in the immigrant populations living in Europe, North America, and Australia. UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women living today in 27 African countries, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen have undergone FGM, and at least 3 million girls are at risk each year. Traditional the ritual is conducted anywhere from a few days after birth to well into puberty, but most often, it is conducted before the girl is 5 years old. The procedure itself differs according to the country or ethnic group; but can include the removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans; removal of the inner labia; and removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva. The practice is deeply rooted in misogyny, and acts an attempt to control women’s sexuality, as well as instilling ideas about purity, modesty, and beauty into the culture. Despite the brutality of the procedure, it is typically carried out by other women, as they see it as a source of honour and fear that failing to have their daughters and granddaughters cut will expose the girls to shame and ridicule.
There are innumerable health risks associated with FGM including, severe pain, bleeding contraction of HIV, infections, psychological consequences such as PTSD, and death. Though it is not the only factor, female sexual health often suffers as a result of FGM. Often there is decreased sexual desire and pleasure, pain during sex, decreased lubrication during intercourse, and reduced frequency or complete absence of orgasm.
In 1993 UNICEF was only budgeting $100,000 a year towards fighting against female genital mutilation, but this was insufficient, as more than 100 million girls were being affected by the horrors of FGM. Around this time as campaign was launched that called out for an increase in funding, and UNICEF responded by increasing its spending to $91 million towards eradicating FGM. On February 6th 2003, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, Stella Obasanjo, officially declared “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa. The International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is not a public holiday, but a day of international observation. This day continues to be observed every year in an effort to eliminate FGM by the year 2030. Though the intolerance towards FGM is not, strictly speaking, just because of the medical risks, but also because of the deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and the extreme discrimination against women and girls. As a whole, these efforts are to help in the fight against violence towards women and girls. Carol Bellamy, executive director of the UN’s Children’s Agency (UNICEF), noted that “Female genital mutilation and cutting is a violation of the basic rights of women and girls,” and that “it is a dangerous and irreversible procedure that negatively impacts the general health, child bearing capabilities and educational opportunities of girls and women.”