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IFUW Calls for Education to Stop Practice of Female Genital Mutilation

The International Federation of University Women (IFUW), condemns female genital mutilation (FGM) as an obstacle to girls and women enjoying their human right to education on the occasion of International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.

FGM is recognized as a form of non-state torture (NST), and the consequences of FGM can cause girls to miss school repeatedly and to drop out in order to manage their menstrual problems which are aggravated by FGM. Thus, FGM puts girls at a distinct disadvantage in all levels of education. In some communities, girls are removed from school to undergo the procedure and then marry immediately and their education comes to an abrupt and premature end.

In addition, FGM may contribute to reduced educational achievement of girls because the acute bleeding following the procedure may initiate or exacerbate an already existing anaemia. Anaemia is known to be a major debilitating condition for girls who have begun menstruating because anaemic children have reduced learning abilities.

Increasing girls’ access to education is key to help end female genital mutilation, because educated women are less likely to allow FGM to be performed on their daughters. Recommendations to increase access to education include support for mobile schools, boarding schools, improved water and sanitation facilities in schools and better-quality teaching in girl-friendly classrooms.

— Source: International Federation of University Women