FGM/C: A Call for a Global Response - Recommendations
The global community has committed, through SDG 5.3, to end FGM/C by 2030, and with less than ten years to go, we are seriously off track. According to UNFPA (2018), if current population trends continue, at least 68 million more girls worldwide will face FGM/C by 2030, with an increase of the current estimates of 4.1 million girls cut each year to 4.6 million per year by 2030. Even these alarming figures are grossly inadequate as they do not take into account, as outlined in this report, at least 60 countries where there is no national-level prevalence data available.
Increased awareness of the prevalence and harmful effects of FGM/C is very much linked to increased interventions and resource allocation. However, the current commitments and investments will simply not suffice and we need to take urgent action on a global level and scale up our collective efforts to end FGM/C by 2030 in line with the SDGs.
1. Strengthen the global political commitment to eliminating FGM/C
Political commitment is key to ending FGM/C. This report urges governments, the international community, and donors to renew their commitment towards the elimination of FGM/C worldwide.
2. Urgently increase resources and investment to end FGM/C and support survivors
It is acknowledged that current efforts to end FGM/C are severely under-resourced. Current funding does not sufficiently take into consideration all countries where FGM/C is present, particularly some of the countries highlighted in this report. If we are to end FGM/C we need to urgently scale-up investments to adequately protect and support all women and girls.
3. Strengthen the evidence base through critical research
As highlighted in this report, significant data gaps exist in relation to the prevalence and practice of FGM/C globally. Having reliable data on FGM/C prevalence is extremely important since this data can be used to trigger and guide action to end FGM/C, assess progress on prevention, measure effectiveness of anti-FGM/C interventions and ensure accountability and influence global resource allocation towards ending FGM/C.
4. Enact and enforce comprehensive laws and national policies
A specific legal and policy framework tackling FGM/C demonstrates political will towards ending FGM/C and lays down a norm that FGM/C is a harmful practice. While not sufficient on their own, their existence can play an important role in accelerating social change and contribute to ending the practice of FGM/C. The effectiveness of such anti-FGM/C frameworks, however, depends largely on their correct implementation involving key actors including law enforcement agencies, child protection professionals, educators, healthcare professionals, local, traditional and religious leaders, government agencies, advocates, communities and survivors.
5. Improve wellbeing for survivors by providing necessary and critical support and services
As this report demonstrates, women and girls in over 90 countries in the world live with the lifelong consequences of FGM/C, with prevalence estimates from only 31 countries indicating that there are over 200 million survivors of FGM/C. All these women and girls are survivors of a harmful practice and must be able to access equal standards of tailored support and care, from a physical, psychological and sexological perspective, regardless of where they live. This is paramount to empower these women and girls and support them in their lives.