UNFPA warns nearly 70 million girls face FGM by 2030

on 06 February 2018 FGM - Female Genital Mutilation

According to new research by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2015 and 2030 around 68 million girls face FGM.

The figures, released today (6 February) on International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, suggest that unless efforts are scaled up to stop FGM the number of girls mutilated each year could rise from an estimated 3.9 million to 4.6 million by 2030.

The new numbers come from a more robust method to generate age-specific risk data for mutilations. The figures also include data from Indonesia, where the revised method captured the approximately one million girls facing mutilation in their first year of life.

Although the risk of a girl being mutilated is about one-third lower than it was three decades ago, more will face mutilation as girls’ populations increase. At present more than 200 million women live FGM.

UNFPA executive director Natalia Kanem said: ‘The new figures show just how far we have to go to eliminate FGM. The good news is we know what works. Greater political will, community engagement, and targeted investments are changing social norms, practices and lives. We need to quickly step up these efforts to make good on our collective pledge to end FGM by 2030.’

In recognition of International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, the RCM is continuing to campaign for improved support services for FGM survivors.
Along with its partners the RCM has called on each UK Government to act to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a National FGM Action Plan with the goal of ending FGM in the UK by 2030.
They have asked for a commitment by all government agencies to end FGM, support survivors and share information to keep women and girls safe. And to provide accessible specialist health and psychological care and support services in community settings for survivors and potential victims of all age groups.
They have also requested education and training for the children's workforce in their role and responsibilities for safeguarding girls and young women.
RCM CEO Gill Walton said: ‘Many girls and women here in the UK continue to be at risk of FGM and while we have made some progress in tackling it, there is much more that we need to do. Many survivors still cannot access healthcare services for the much-needed physical and psychological support they require and deserve.
‘In the long term, we must ensure robust safeguarding systems are in place for protecting girls from FGM. The RCM welcomes the next stage of the implementation of the FGM information sharing system, which we hope will demonstrate how the NHS is taking steps to embed safeguarding across all standard healthcare settings from maternity through to health visitors and GPs. However, the challenge of providing specialist services and support to young girls and women still remains.
‘On this Zero Tolerance Day for FGM, the RCM would like to thank all our partners for the collaborative work towards ending FGM. We have achieved a lot and if we continue to work closely we will achieve much more together. It is vital that we continue to raise awareness of the physical and psychological impact of FGM on women.

‘The RCM will continue highlighting our collaborative “Call To Act” which relates to the UK government’s initial framework for ending FGM with a renewed emphasis on awareness, education and service provision in community settings. Girls and women who have undergone FGM need support and health care and we would urge the UK government to reverse the closures of community based clinics for FGM survivors.’

The RCM recently launched a series of short animated films on FGM. The animations were developed by the RCM in collaboration with RCOG, The Royal College General Practitioners, survivors of FGM, NGOs and a variety of local community partners.

Instrumentally the RCM and its partners worked closely with FGM survivors to ensure the authenticity of the stories being told via the animations remained true to the realities of surviving FGM.
The short animations can be viewed below: