As the international community on Monday marked the ninth annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), the U.N. and international and human rights organizations called for an end to FGM/C and are appealing for tougher legislation to halt the practice that has affected up to 140 million girls and women worldwide, according to WHO statistics, VOA News reports (Schlein, 2/6). "The United States stands in consensus with women, governments, and donors around the world in a commitment to provide the energy and resources necessary to end this harmful traditional practice that violates girls' right to bodily integrity, harms their health, and reduces their status in society," USAID writes on its website (2/6).
According to a report issued by the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF, "almost 2,000 communities across Africa abandoned [FGM/C] last year, prompting calls for a renewed global push to end this harmful practice once and for all" and bringing the total number of communities renouncing FGM/C over the last few years to 8,000, the U.N. News Centre writes (2/6). The Los Angeles Times' "World Now" examines efforts to end the practice in some African countries (Alpert, 2/6). Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin released press statements regarding the day (2/6).
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