Yemen to accelerate efforts for abandonment of FGM/C [Archives:2008/1168/Local News]

June 30 2008

SANA'A, June 26 ) (UNICEF-Yemen) As part of Yemen efforts to save children and women from harmful practices, Yemen is formulating a National Action Plan to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C which was enriched in June 24-25, 2008 advocacy workshop that took place in Sana'a.

This plan is a result of month long intensive interaction by UNICEF consultant from Sudan,

Dr. Samira Amin Ahmed with the key partners' surveys supported by UNICEF in Yemen as FGM/C practice particularly high in Hodeida (97,3%), Hadhramout (96,6%), Al-Mahara (96,5%), Aden (82,2%) and Al-Amanah (45,5%). This calls for launching a comprehensive plan.

65 concerned participants representing different Ministries, Academic Institutions, NGOs, UN agencies, donors and other development partners as well as participants from the high risk governorates, contributed positively to the draft National Action Plan. All these efforts are led by the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

A WHO study (2006) on link of FGM/C and obstetric outcome in six African countries confirmed that deliveries by female who have undergone FGM/C are significantly more likely to have caesarean section, risk for excessive bleeding, prolonged labor and death. The practice of FGM is prevalent in countries of region such as Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia and West Africa which account for 99% of global cases of the FGM/C. UNICEF estimates show that 30 million of girls and women are annually subjected to the harmful practice of FGM/C, the practice often done under harsh and rudimentary poor hygienic condition leaves women with shock, trauma and at risk for increased complications during pregnancy and delivery.

UNICEF Representative Aboudou Karimou Adjibade said “We can not let this harmful practice takes more toll on the health and development of girls and women and ready to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C in a generation”. According to UNICEF, some 70 million girls and women in the Middle East and Africa have been victims of FGM/C.

The struggle to sway communities away from the gender based violence and violation of the rights of the children and women has been long and arduous.

Recent years have seen some major breakthroughs in countries such as Burkina Faso, Sudan, Egypt, Djibouti, and Niger which encourage other countries to follow suit.

The abandonment of the practice, UNICEF Representative said, requires action on all fronts ranging from legislation to social mobilization and community support by promoting dialogue among all key partners.