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‘Harnessing Culture For Change’ Vital To Ending FGM By 2030

The Lancet: Changing culture to end FGM
Editorial Board

“…Feb. 6 is the U.N. International Day of Zero Tolerance for [Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)], which helps promote the Sustainable Development Goal target to eliminate the practice by 2030. … [W]ithout more urgent action [the gains made toward ending FGM] may soon be lost … [W]hile national legislation should be advocated, it is not sufficient. Laws against traditional practices often go unheeded in countries where local chiefs and religious leaders wield more influence than the government … Insights generated at the local level are most important, and they can fuel the urgency this issue needs. Chief among these is recognition that FGM is deeply embedded in culture. … On Feb. 6, when the international community convenes to condemn the cruel global problem of FGM, let us look deeper for solutions that can fuel the urgent progress we need: recognizing the cultural meanings of FGM, and harnessing culture for change” (2/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.