Second International Conference on FGM Set to Commence in Tanzania

Second International Conference on FGM Set to Commence in Tanzania
Julius Nyerere Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam is the venue for the Second International Conference on FGM from October 9-11. (Credit: International Conference on FGM)

Tanzania, East Africa | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The second International Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is commencing today in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, promising three days of intensive discussions and shared experiences focused on eliminating this widespread harmful practice affecting girls and women. The conference is organized by the African Union Commission and has attracted hundreds of delegates, both physically present at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre and virtually engaged.

Tanzania’s community development and gender minister, Dr. Dorothy Onesphoro Gwajima, expressed readiness to host the conference and provide leadership in accelerating efforts to eradicate FGM, describing it as an injurious, violent, and harmful practice prevalent in Tanzania, Africa, and around the world.

FGM, also known as female circumcision, remains a significant concern, especially in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris or labia minora, often performed under unsanitary conditions and without anesthesia, with the misguided aim of reducing libido and preserving chastity. Over 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone this practice, leading to severe physical, psychological, and sexual complications and, in tragic cases, death.

Many countries, including Uganda and Tanzania, have outlawed FGM, imposing jail terms on those performing or aiding in the procedure. However, some communities still practice it by circumventing existing laws, even crossing borders to do so.

Rights groups have been advocating for urgent action by governments and stakeholders to eliminate FGM, with a global target set for 2030. The Dar es Salaam conference on FGM, operating under the theme “Change in a Generation,” aims to unlock the potential of girls and women as part of the Transformative Agenda 2063 on “The Africa We Want.” It builds upon the progress achieved during the inaugural conference in Burkina Faso in 2018, which led to the African Union Saleema Initiative on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation. The second edition will continue the work, recognizing the efforts of Eastern African countries to combat cross-border FGM and advocate against medicalization of the practice.

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