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Transcript of Video Message by Permanent Representative, Ambassador Maurizio Massari on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

WhatsApp Image 2023-02-06 at 10.30.14 AM

The female genital mutilation is still a major concern in several countries of the world and Africa, in particular.

It is alarming that, in 2023, women and girls are still subject to this harmful practice.

FGMs not only have serious and irreversible consequences on the physical and psychological development of girls.

They also represent an enormous hindrance to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

More than 200 million women and girls alive today, have undergone female genital mutilation. 4 million of girls risking every year to be subject to FGM is not tolerable anymore.

The fight against female genital mutilation has been at the heart of the Italian international cooperation for about two decades as part of our action to end gender-based violence.

The clock of the 2030 Agenda is ticking and countries have only seven years to ensure that the SDG target 5.3, entitled “Zero FGM“ , is achieved.

The UNFPA /UNICEF Joint Programme on “the Elimination of the Female Genital Mutilation: Delivering the Global Promise” is an excellent example on how to promote gender equality.

We are proud to have been one of the first donors of this programme and to be one of its three top donors globally.

Italy, through its development cooperation, has also being engaging men and boys in its bilateral and multilateral initiatives aiming at gender equality in the different SDGs.

In this important International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, Italy stands ready to continue working to end these heinous violation of human rights.

Women and girls are born free. So let them be free.