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February 6: International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

In the run-up to the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, Barza Wire is highlighting resources that journalists and broadcasters can use to report on the issue and start a discussion amongst their listening audiences.

According to the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation (FGM) includes all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitals, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways.

It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural functioning of girls’ and women’s bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth which can harm babies.

The United Nations’ website contains key facts, links, videos and other resources which can be used to create programs or articles. You can read the page at this address: http://www.un.org/en/events/femalegenitalmutilationday/ [1]

In 2014, UN WOMEN posted a message from its Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to commemorate the Day. You can find the message and several accompanying stories here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/1/ed-message-for-zero-tolerance-for-fgm-day [2]

The website of the United Nations’ World Health Organization offers links and resources for activists and those who wish to bring the issue to the attention of their audiences. Find out more here: http://www.who.int/topics/female_genital_mutilation/en/ [3]