The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) takes place on February 6th. 

More than 15 years after its inception, the day remains a vital moment to heighten awareness of this harmful cultural practice that robs girls and women of their right to health. It's also a persistent form of gender-based violence and discrimination.

The negative health and psychological impacts of FGM are felt by 200 million women globally, and a further 50 million girls are at risk of becoming victims. While some countries have had reductions through policy-led approaches, change remains elusive.

In 2015, all countries agreed to end FGM by 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals, yet financing for grass roots awareness and education threatens efforts to meet this target.

Jaha Dukureh, a survivor of FGM herself, founded Safe Hands for Girls to bring an end to FGM and Child Marriage by 2030 and has gained global accolades for her tireless advocacy. 

This year Jaha will be joined in an awareness raising campaign by the Guinness World Record holder for body modification and gender-based violence activist, Maria José Cristerna (aka Vampire Woman), and world famous London-based tattoo artist and activist Grace Neutral. Together, these three women will call to put an end to this violent practice, affecting hundreds of millions of girls and women around the world, using the hashtag #EndFGM.

Virgin Unite, The New Now, Safe Hands for Girls

Jaha Dukureh is a member of The NewNow  –  a collective of young leaders tackling the world’s toughest challenges. The NewNow was incubated by Virgin Unite and together the leaders aim to achieve deep, sustainable, and transformative global impact

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