The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a day dedicated to raising awareness and taking action to end the harmful practice. In 2012, UNGA appointed February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the aim to amplify and direct efforts to eliminate this practice. This year’s theme focuses on partnering with men and boys and foster their engagement to accelerate the elimination of this harmful practice and elevate the voices of women and girls.
While it is crucial that women lead the way in advocating for their own rights and bodily autonomy, the involvement of men is equally important. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Men hold positions of power and influence in many communities where FGM is practiced, and their involvement can help challenge traditional attitudes and norms around the practice.
- When men are involved in the movement, it helps to change cultural attitudes that view FGM as a women’s issue. By seeing it as a human rights issue that affects everyone, men can play a critical role in ending the practice.
- Men who are involved in the movement can act as role models for other men, encouraging them to speak out against FGM and help educate their peers about the dangers and harm it causes.
- When men are involved in the movement, they can also help to reduce stigma and discrimination faced by women who have undergone FGM. By speaking out against the practice and supporting women who have been affected, they can help create a more supportive environment for survivors.
- Engaging men in the movement can also help to increase political will to end FGM. When men see the issue as important, they are more likely to advocate for change and support legislation that seeks to end the practice.
- Finally, involving men in the movement can help to increase the visibility of the issue and raise public awareness. This can help to build momentum and increase funding for programs and initiatives aimed at ending FGM.
It is essential that we continue to work towards involving men in the movement to end FGM. By doing so, we can help to create a more inclusive and supportive environment where everyone is empowered to challenge harmful practices and promote human rights for all.
To learn more or to get involved, we recommend the following resources:
The U.S. End FGM/C Network’s Website.
Donate to The U.S. End FGM/C Network
Bhaiyo by Sahiyo
George Washington University’s Engaging Men Toolkit.