"The World Must Make Faster Progress to End Female Genital Mutilation by 2030" - Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin A Visual journal by Jeremiah Agenyi

On Thursday, 16 March 2017, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at the sixty-first session of the commission on the status of women (#CSW61) taking place at the United Nations headquarters in New York hosted a high-level ministerial forum titled: "Let's Be The Generation That Eliminates Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Once And For All; A Global Response To Eliminate FGM To Achieve Agenda 2030 For Sustainable Development".

Based on the priority theme of the 61st session of the UN CSW; Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, it is important that eliminating FGM is taking as a crucial step to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals including targets on health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, employment and economic growth.

it is noted that about 200 million girls and women globally in 30 countries have undergone FGM.

With supports from governments of Portugal, Burkina Faso, Italy, Guinea, The Gambia, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Norway, UNFPA and UNICEF, the side event provided an opportunity for member states to examine the current state of FGM and galvanize political will by focused discussion on successful strategies in eliminating the practice.

"Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a violation of human rights" - Mrs. Catarina Marcelino, Portuguese Secretary of State.
"Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) cannot be justified" - H.E. Mr. Martin Shearman (@Martin_Shearman), Ambassador at the UK Mission to the United Nations
"FGM will end when society challenges norms. We all need to speak up" - Ambassador Mara Marinaki, EEAS Principal Adviser on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women Peace and Security
"FGM is a gross violation of ‪#humanrights. We need to come together and ‪#EndFGM once and for all!" - Mrs. Laila Bokhari (@LailaBokhari), Norway State Secretary (Conservative Party)
"Female genital mutilation is not an African issue, it is a ‪development issue" - Dr. Isatou Touray (@DrIsatouTouray), Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment of the Republic of The Gambia
An interactive session was moderated by UNFPA goodwill ambassador, Catarina Furtado, which saw an exchange in experiences and good practices among countries and cso that have made progress in law, policies, services, and change in social norms
I don’t speak against anyone but I am here to protect the rights of every girl and woman to a life free of violence - Mrs. Catarina Furtado
When I start to advocate to end fgm in my country, I got reactions like ‘Catarina this is so ethical…’ - Catarina Furtado
We don’t want this fight to begin a never-ending story. We really must support and teach to say NO to FGM - Catarina Furtado
"FGM are violation of women’s rights to health, life, dignity & personal integrity" - Gabriel Adeyemo (@vinnydrey), Youth Advocate for #endFGM #GenderJustice #SDG5 at #CSW61
An equitable society cannot be attained if the fundamental human rights of women, continue to be denied & violated - Gabriel adeyemo (@vinnydrey) #endFGM #CSW61
"We cannot afford to keep postponing the fight against FGM, and we must end FGM in my generation" - dr. morissanda kouyate, director, inter african committee against harmful practices

The high-level forum provided an opportunity for member states to examine the current state of FGM and galvanize political will by focused discussion on successful strategies in eliminating the practice.

Finally, the high-level forum provided a platform to increase the visibility of initiatives for equality of women and girls and their empowerment being promoted by member states committed to ending FGM.

Writer/Editor: Jeremiah Agenyi & Gabriel Adeyemo

Photographers: Jeremiah Agenyi, ©UNFPA/Usenabasi Esiet

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