Last edited: November 24, 2017

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UNFPA and UNICEF jointly lead the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation. The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C: Accelerating Change brings the complementary expertise of the two agency – often in partnership with grass-roots community organizations -- together with the latest social science research.

The focus is on protecting women and girls from female genital mutilation using a human rights-based and culturally sensitive approach. The Joint Programme also supports health and protective services for those adversely affected.

Initiated in 2007, the Joint Programme is fully aligned with a statement on the elimination on FGM/C agreed to by ten UN agencies that deal with women’s health and rights, including UNIFEM which was replaced by UNIFEM in 2010. The joint statement highlights that the practice is a human rights violation with damaging effects on the health of women, girls and newborn babies. Noting that the practice is a social convention that demands a coordinated and collective response, the statement calls for sustained, community-led, multi-sectoral approaches to abandonment with the aim of eliminating the practice within a generation.

UN Women's Role

UN Women is collaborating with the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Accelerating Change during its second phase (2014-2017), in order to strengthen the gender equality and women's empowerment component of the Joint Programme at global, regional and country levels.

UN Women is responsible for the development of:

(1) A paper on policy considerations essential to ending FGM/C as a form of violence against women and girls, and

(2) A training module on gender and FGM/C to be part of the broader manual developed by the joint programme on social norms and change. This module is being developed jointly by the UN Women Ending Violence against Women section and the UN Women Training Center.