International efforts on abandoning female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is a harmful cultural practice without any known health benefit. Its short-term and long-term health risks have led to numerous initiatives toward its eradication at international and local levels, over the last two decades. While major challenges remain and millions of girls and women are still at risk of being subjected to FGM, there is growing evidence that interventions that take into account the social dynamics that perpetuate FGM are yielding positive results toward its reduction. Well-recognized as a human rights violation in international treaties, the elimination of female genital mutilation requires ongoing interventions through cross-sectoral approaches that address attitudinal, cultural and behavioral change.