#IDG2016 – On 11 October 2016, the world celebrates the incredible potential of adolescent girls worldwide. The world’s 1.1 billion girls are part of a large and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future.
Yet, too often, girls are not given the opportunity to fulfil their vast potential; they face obstacles and barriers to health and education.
Such barriers include, for example female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), a form of discrimination against women and girls which violates their right to the highest attainable standard of health and the right to freedom from violence.
In some cases, FGM/C is seen as a prerequisite to marriage, and so can mean the end of education for girls and even entry into child marriage. And in some cases, it can have profound implications on health, causing severe pain, excessive bleeding, complications in child birth and even death.
Worldwide, an estimated 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM/C and more than 3 million girls are at risk of being subjected to FGM/C every year in Africa alone. 44 million of these are girls under 15 years.
Through its FGM/C programme, funded by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, AWEPA is dedicated to ending this practice within one generation. We work with parliamentarians and local communities to change perceptions, and to contribute to an increase in capacity among parliamentarians to legislate around the protection of women and girls from this form of violence.
In this way, we hope to create a better future, and one filled with more opportunity for girls to unlock their power.