New Report from the World Health Organization: Increased Efforts to Eliminate FGM
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:45 AM

Though recent studies suggest that the harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is on the decline, other troubling trends have become evident in the past few years.  Girls are being subjected to FGM earlier and earlier in life, and parents are increasingly seeking out health-care providers to do so, thus “medicalizing” the practice. 

In order to more effectively counter the practice of FGM, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the implementation of intensified counter-FGM measures in three action areas: social, legal, and political commitment.

The WHO’s own anti-FGM efforts were strengthened in 2008 with an interagency statement detailing updated facts about the practice as well as various approaches to be used toward its elimination.  That same year, the World Health Assembly (including all WHO Member States) passed a resolution committing to increase efforts to eradicate FGM.

Last year, the WHO, along with seven other UN agencies and six professional organizations, developed and implemented a worldwide strategy meant to prevent healthcare providers from performing FGM, a dangerous trend that is on the rise. The WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research has also supported quantitative and qualitative studies meant to assist the agency’s understanding of what influences decisions about FGM.


Compiled from: An update on WHO’s work on female genital mutilation (FGM), World Health Organization, SVRI, (27 May 2011).