Today marks International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It's hard to believe that such a barbaric practice still exists today in our world, but the tradition remains widely practiced in regions--mainly Africa and the Middle East--where gender inequality remains high.
Thankfully, progress continues. According to UNICEF Egypt, 91% of females aged 15-49 have undergone FGM procedures in that country--but Egypt's Population National Council will hold a press conference tomorrow "to discuss means of countering the practice." And Uganda has recently joined Kenya in its efforts to eradicate FGM, stating that "unless the two countries worked together, the practice would not be wiped out."
But FGM isn't confined to the countries where the ritual originates anymore. With globalization comes diaspora, and many females that live in Western nations are still potentially at risk--as unfathomable as this sounds. According to a recent survey conducted in Ireland, immigrant families are still often under pressure to inflict FGM on their daughters. For these girls, the context is completely different yet the lack of knowledge on the dangers of the practice remain ignorantly high.
The culture must shift in order to provide circumstances that do not consider this a "normal" action. There are zero benefits to this crude and outdated practice. It is simply a way to control women and maintain their status as mere property throughout the world.