TODAY, February 6, is the United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
It is NOT a public holiday, although it is dedicated to international observation as part of combined efforts by the United Nations Organisation to meet one of its ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ programme to year-2030 (SDG-2030).
Goal Number-5 out of the 17 SDGs includes Gender Equality. This – together with women’s empowerment–is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, roughly a mere 11 years hence.
Therefore, ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right; it is also crucial to accelerating sustainable development, analysts pontificate...
With the elimination of FGM as a key target under Goal-5, the SDG’s aim here is to build on these achievements. This is with a view to ensuring that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere across Planet Earth this side of Heaven.
According to the year-2018 report of the United Nation’s Secretary-General titled ‘The Sustainable Development Goals Report-2018:’ “one-in-three girls aged 15-to-19 years in 2017 had been subjected to female genital mutilation in the 30 countries where the practice is concentrated – compared to nearly one-in-two in year-2000.” [<https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5>].
Titled ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,’ SDG-5 notes that “gender inequalities are still deeply rooted in every society.
Many women still lack access to employment opportunities, basic education and healthcare–and they’re often subjected to violence and discrimination.
“The math is simple: in countries where there’s higher equality, there’s less poverty, more economic growth, and a higher standard of living.
Therefore, let us improve opportunities for everyone by dismantling barriers to women’s participation in economic, social and political life.” [For details, just Google <https://www.globalgiving.org/sdg/>].
Roughly put, female gender mutilation–better known as ‘female circumcision’ down the annals of History–involves ‘cutting off the clitoris, removal of some or all of the labia minora, or stitching shut of the labia majora.’ This is conducted ostensibly to “control the woman; to keep her from being sexually promiscuous, as well as prepare her for marriage and for religious purposes...” [See ‘10 facts about female genital mutilation that will horrify you,’ by Eli Long, February 7, 2017: <https://listverse.com/2017/10-facts->].
Although it is generally shouted from the housetops that FGM “is a barbaric practice commonly found in Africa, Asia and several countries in the Middle East,” the fact of the matter is that the ‘barbarism’ is also practised to a certain extent in the United States of America (US), the self-styled ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!’
As it is, female genital mutilation has been a Federal crime in the US since 1996: solid proof that the practice does indeed exist in Donald Trump country!
A joint study in January 2016 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (US-HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) established that “an estimated 513,000 girls and women had undergone–or had been at risk of being subjected to–female genital mutilation!”
Another study by the Population Reference Bureau conducted in February 2015 “estimated that 507,000 girls and women living in the US were at risk of–or had been subjected to–female genital mutilation. This just proves that we need more information about the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the United States...” [vide supra: <https://listverse.com/2017/10-facts->].
Doesn’t this then make America the ‘Land of the Free, Home of the Brave and NewFound Land for FG Mutilators and the Mutilated?’. [Established in the US in 1929, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) is a private, nonprofit organization specializing in collecting and supplying statistics for research and/or academic purposes focused on the environment, health and structure of populations].
So, the US should today, February 6, also join global efforts to extirpate FGM root and branch–not only on its territory, but also across the world. It should do this in much the same way it is straining to surmount global terrorism, HIV/Aids and the gazillion other maladies discombobulating Mankind this side of Hades.
Oh... I nearly forgot that February 6 is also the date on which King George-VI of the UK and British Dominions (born ‘Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor’ on Dec. 14, 1895) died from coronary thrombosis/lung cancer at 56 years of age in 1952.
George-VI was automatically succeeded on the spot by his eldest child, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, as Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth-II, who was at the time holidaying in Kenya next-door. (Cheers!)...
The 92-year old Queen Bess has become the longest-reigning British Monarch ever: 67 years on the Throne–and still counting –followed by Queen Victoria: 63 years from June 1837 to Jan. 1901... Cheers, again!