No woman or girl should suffer due to Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C)

Dar es Salaam, 6 February 2014 – As the world marks the International Day for Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) today,6th February, UNFPA Tanzania Representative a.i, Ms. Mariam Khan has called on government and communities to step up efforts to stop the practice.

“FGM/C is a harmful traditional practice that results too often in significant health problems for women and girls and violates their human rights, said Ms. Khan. “FGM/C is deeply entrenched in the cultural practices of the community and often
protected by local leaders, the efforts for its eradication should be directed on and led by the communities to effect change.” Emphasized Ms. Khan.

Millions of girls around the world are under threat of FGM/C, despite a century of efforts to put an end to it. In the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, more than 125 million girls and women have been cut. UNFPA projects that a further 86 million young girls worldwide are likely to experience some form of the practice by 2030, if current trends continue. FGM/C is illegal in Tanzania, yet is since 1998 prevalence is stable at 15%. Research shows that women who have been cut are up to 31% more likely to require a caesarean section in delivery, and babies born to women who have been cut are up to 55% more likely to be stillborn.

UNFPA in the context of delivering as One with partners in Tanzania is working to eliminate FGM/C interventions include:- to educate communities through media and community meetings, raising awareness of the health repercussions for the girls and of the human rights violations resulting in lost potential. The organization engages duty bears, decision makers, and community members, including religious leaders, to change attitudes and identify alternative rites of passage.

Ending the practice depends on how the global and local communities respond. UNFPA and UNICEF are jointly implementing a programme to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C. Every young girl, regardless of where she lives, or her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfil her human potential, free from coercion, harm or violence. We can ensure that she does, and we must. The sustainable, equitable, inclusive future we all want depends on the actions we take today to ensure the dignity, health and well-being of every girl.

FGM/C is being practiced variably in Tanzania and it is mostly predominant in Manyara 71%, Dodoma 64%, Arusha 57%, Singida 51% and Mara 40%. “Nothing justifies the continued practice of FGM/C it is an obstacle to attainment of the health, development and human rights goal not only for girls and women but also for all members of society; In the 21st century, no woman or girl should suffer or die due to FGM/C. Addressing the persistent inequalities that negatively affect women's and girl's health and well-being is our unfinished business,” concludes UNFPA Representative a.i Mariam Khan.


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person’s potential is fulfilled, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

For more information, please contact: Sawiche Wamunza, Communications Analyst, +255 684 919 729, [email protected]