More than 200 million girls and women in 30 countries live with the medical and emotional complications of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), UNICEF estimates. But that is an incomplete measure of this global problem. In most countries, the majority of girls subjected to this violence are no more than five years old, and the physical and psychological impacts are lifelong. As part of the United Nations’ global development goals, governments worldwide declared their intent two years ago to end this human rights violation by 2030. On December 2, USIP held a day-long conference in which expert educators, medical providers, law enforcement officials, religious leaders and others laid groundwork for an intensified global strategy that will be required to meet the 2030 goal.

FGM 3917-X3.jpg

The prevalence of this violence against girls is declining where governments and civil society work together to spread information and education on the harm it causes, from trauma, bleeding and infections to dangerous complications in childbirth. In Liberia, the percentage of girls aged 15 to 19 subjected to FGM/C declined from 72 percent in 1983 to 31 percent in 2014. Kenya, Burkina Faso and Egypt recorded improvements as the result of public awareness campaigns. But rapid population growth in countries that continue the practice means that the total number of girls and women harmed “will increase significantly over the next 15 years,” UNICEF says. This population growth means that a much bigger and more collaborative push is required worldwide to meet the goal of eradication by 2030.

The discussion was held online, with comments and questions provided via Twitter using #EndFGM and #EndViolenceAgainstGirls. The agenda for the day is available.

Related Publications

Forging Connections Between Students and Peacebuilders

Forging Connections Between Students and Peacebuilders

Thursday, October 31, 2019

By: Allison Sturma

While speaking to middle- and high-school students as part of the USIP and Inspired Classroom Challenge, Osama Gharizi, USIP’s senior program advisor for Iraq, said, “Next time you hear anything in the news about Iraq, which will most likely be bad, just remember that there are good stories, there is a sense of normalcy, there are positive things that are happening.”

Type: Blog

Education & Training

Jill Welch on the Peace Day Challenge

Jill Welch on the Peace Day Challenge

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

By: Jill Welch

Ahead of the International Day of Peace on September 21, USIP’s Jill Welch talks about how the Institute’s annual Peace Day Challenge gives people around the world “the opportunity to take an action, however big or small, to make peace possible together.”

Type: Podcast

Education & Training

Building Peace in Afghanistan from the Bottom-up

Building Peace in Afghanistan from the Bottom-up

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

By: Ahmad Jawed Samsor; Muhammad Idrees

A peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban is reportedly imminent. That deal would pave the way for intra-Afghan talks aimed at setting the course for the country’s political future. After the 18-year U.S. war and decades of conflict prior, Afghans overwhelmingly want an end to the violence that plagues their country every day. While this official diplomacy is an important first step, there is also much to be done at the grassroots level to build peace in Afghanistan.

Type: Blog

Education & Training; Youth

Megan Chabalowski on USIP’s Peace Teachers Program

Megan Chabalowski on USIP’s Peace Teachers Program

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

By: Megan Chabalowski

Young people are hungry for examples of people working for peace in some of the world’s most violent conflicts, and they are curious about ways they too can make a positive difference. Megan Chabalowski explains how USIP’s Peace Teachers Program provides educators with the in-depth training and resources needed to incorporate peacebuilding into their classrooms and communities.

Type: Podcast

Education & Training

View All Publications