LONDON/NEW YORK, 22 July 2014 – The UK Government and UNICEF are hosting today a first-ever Girl Summit to rally support for much faster progress to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.
UNICEF data released today show that while prevalence has decreased slightly over the past three decades, rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically, simply to offset population growth in the countries where the practices are most common.
“FGM and child marriage profoundly and permanently harm girls, denying them their right to make their own decisions and to reach their full potential. They are detriments to the girls themselves, their families, and their societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Girls are not property; they have the right to determine their destiny. When they do so, everyone benefits.”
According to the newly-released data:
“The numbers tell us we must accelerate our efforts. And let’s not forget that these numbers represent real lives. While these are problems of a global scale, the solutions must be local, driven by communities, families and girls themselves to change mindsets and break the cycles that perpetuate FGM/C and child marriage,” Lake said. “We can’t let the staggering numbers numb us – they must compel us to act.”
To read original press release, visit this UNICEF link .