Ghana's ministry intensifies fight against female genital mutilation

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Three executive directors of the United Nations agencies on Wednesday called for actions to eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030 on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

A circular letter was issued by the Minister of Health in October 2017 requiring hospitals and governmental and private health facilities to inform the police when receiving complications resulting from female genital mutilation.

Hundreds of millions of women have been subjected to female genital mutilation, the United Nations said Wednesday as the world body marks the practice's zero-tolerance day.

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Everyone owns their own body and it is up to them to decide about it, the diplomat said, and called for redoubled action to end female genital mutilation.

The UN Secretary-General went on to add that the Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030. "Tackling FGM is also a central part of our efforts in the Spotlight Initiative, launched in partnership with the European Union to end all forms of violence against women and girls". "And we must act now to translate that political commitment into action", said the statement.

He discouraged the practice, urging communities who still subject girls to such practice to desist from it as they risk maiming the girls or subjecting them to psychological stress later in life.

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All three work to advocate for global awareness to deal with the problem, specifically by educating the public, health workers and FGM practitioners on its health and psychosocial consequences.

UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund warned that the numbers of women and girls suffering from FGM are still very high. It violates women's rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment, said three executive directors.

For its part, UNFPA continues to advocate against FGM by supporting the revision of national policies, laws, regulations and misinformed traditional practices pertaining to reproductive health.

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