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Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), comprises all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons. FGM/C, which is linked to deeply rooted traditions and some religious and cultural beliefs, is recognized as a human rights violation and is one of many manifestations of gender inequality.

In most cases, FGM/C is carried out in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions with unsterilized knives or blades (or any sharp instruments) without any anesthesia. Along with the risk of various infections and HIV transmission, risks include infertility, complications during childbirth, chronic pain and other long-term complications. FGM/C is usually performed on minor girls. Directly or indirectly, FGM/C can lead to death.

Save the Children is working to prevent FGM through community mobilization and reform. Through community awareness, strong legislation and enforcement and community-based programming, misconceptions about harmful practices can be broken down and eventually eradicated. Challenging gender norms is also an important part of this work. Save the Children is working with local authorities, traditional leaders and community members as well as involving and targeting churches, schools, mosques and religious leaders and elders in order to prevent and eradicate FGM/C. A reduction in FGM, sexual violence and child marriage will reduce the levels of maternal and infant mortality due to under-age pregnancies and unsafe pregnancies and delivery.

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