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UN Raises Awareness of Female Genital Mutilation

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will host in April the annual global consultation for their joint program on female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Uganda. They present research on FGM in Uganda and discuss ideas to raise awareness of the costs of FGM.

Issues like FGM continue to persist. Globally, approximately 200 million women and girls have suffered this abuse. And while FGM is on the steady decline, it nonetheless continues to be outnumbered by multiple other factors.

“Despite positive achievements, and the fact that the prevalence of FGM is declining in many countries, these declines are being outpaced by demographic growth,” explained the Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “If current trends continue, the number of girls and women undergoing FGM will continue to increase.”

Since 1969, the UNFPA has worked to reduce, spread awareness, educate and prevent genital mutilation, gender-based violence, child marriage, and child abuse as well as improve access to modern contraceptives and reproductive health care for hundreds of millions of women and girls in over 150 countries. Last year, the nonprofit organization received $979 m in donations in 2015.

Recently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Sam Kutesa, published a press release welcoming the new national representatives of the UNFPA to Uganda, as well as thanking the government of Uganda for their support of the organization’s efforts.

Preceding the global consultation are various 
reports outlining UNFPA-supportive countries’ involvement and donations for 2017. With disappointing news that the US is eliminating funding for the UNFPA, citing abortion and maternal care as reasons for ending monetary contributions, other nations have opted to step up in order to make up for the loss of the US’s contributions (apart from Britain and Sweden, the US stood as UNFPA’s third-largest contributor).

The European Union plans to continue their stellar contributions to the organization, citing their amazing 2014-2015 record, during which the EU was a top donor towards nonprofit’s maternal health and family planning causes.

Sweden has announced its plans to increase its core contribution to UNFPA by SEK 200 m (22 m USD) from SEK 515 m to SEK 545 m. As one of the organization’s largest contributor’s, Sweden’s donation increase makes a huge difference, allowing the UNFPA to continue to magnify their global sexual and reproductive programs.

Iceland is also stepping up its contributions to the organization. Early March 2017, Iceland’s Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, announced to the press that the country would be tripling its monetary contributions to the UNFPA, gifting all money to the nonprofit’s core budget.

These generous contributions and the incredible work of the UNFPA is one big step in gender equality in Uganda and eventually other areas around the world.

Featured Image by MONUSCO Photos on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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