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Saturday, February 7, 2009

More efforts needed to end female genital mutilation: UNICEF

(From the Hindu News Update Service) New York (PTI): The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) asked for greater efforts to end female genital mutilation as the world body marked the International Day against the harmful practice that three million girls and women endure each year.

"Some 70 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female genital cutting," UNICEF Executive Director Ann M Veneman said in a message on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation.

"While some communities have made real progress in abandoning this dangerous practice, the rights, and even the lives of too many girls continue to be threatened," she added.

Female genital mutilation or cutting is the partial or total removal of the external genitalia -undertaken for cultural or other non-medical reasons- often causing severe pain and sometimes resulting in prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility and even death.

Genital cutting can produce complications during child birth, increasing the chances of death or disability for both mother and child. More efforts needed to end female genital mutilation: UNICEF