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Home » Women and Girls » Global Commitment Summit: closing the funding gap to end FGM/C

Asenath Mwithigah

CEO, Orchid Project

We need a Global Commitment Summit to help end female genital mutilation or cutting. Take action to end this human rights violation today.

Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) is a human rights violation and a form of gender-based violence. It comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Female genital mutilation/cutting global prevalence

While often perceived to take place in Africa where prevalence is higher and there is more data, it’s a global phenomenon. Over 4 million girls are at risk of FGM/C annually. FGM is a leading cause of death in the countries where it is prevalent, with over 44,000 estimated excess deaths annually.

Funding to end female genital mutilation/cutting

Yet, funding remains a significant challenge. UNFPA estimates that $3.3 billion is needed to avert 24.6 million cases in high-incidence countries by 2030. However, between 2020–2030, only $275 million in development assistance will be spent. This leaves a huge funding gap.

While resources will need to come from multiple sources, including domestic funding, donor funding will continue to remain the largest source. The issue of funding is not new in global advocacy, but a concerted push for financial commitments is needed to achieve transformative results. For this, we need political leadership and a rallying call for action.

FGM is a leading cause of death in the
countries where it is prevalent, with over
44,000 estimated excess deaths.

Global Commitment Summit critical

A Global Commitment Summit, hosted by political leaders and supported through donor funding, will be a pivotal moment to unite and pledge support to end the practice. At Women Deliver 2023, more than 150 activists gathered, launching the Kigali Declaration on Closing the Funding Gap. This was part of the Global Platform for Action to end FGM/C-led efforts. The Declaration includes a call for the Summit and has been signed by 200 organisations.

In support, Orchid Project rolled out a campaign called #TakeASeatForTheSummit, asking for the people with the resources to take a seat next to the people with the knowledge. Political will must evolve urgently from ambition to action and commitment.

Researchers and grassroots organisations have evidence of what works and where funding needs to be channelled. From prevention and protection to treatment, efforts would include community awareness programmes, school education, work with youth, health workers’ training and policy and law development to psychosocial support to survivors. However, to truly end this practice, we need a space where commitments are made — we need a Summit.

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