Sexual and reproductive health

Meetings, conferences and events


International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM - High level panel, UN Palais des Nations, Geneva

6 February 2019
Photo of the high level panel

This year’s theme was “Translate political decisions into concrete actions at the national and grassroots level to reach the goal of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation by 2030.”

Every year, the international community observes the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on 6 February. This day provides the opportunity to raise awareness and reiterate that FGM is an unacceptable harmful practice and a violation of women’s and girls’ human rights. In collaboration with UNFPA and other partner agencies and Permanent Missions of Member States, WHO co-sponsored a high-level panel at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva to mark this occasion. The First Lady of Burkina Faso, H.E. Madame Sika Kaboré was the keynote speaker on the panel. Opening remarks were made by the Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations, Jane Ellison, who described how WHO is supporting the health sector to improve the capacity of health care providers in preventing and responding to FGM. As respected and influential members of their communities, health workers can be allies in the activities to abandon FGM. They are eager to help their patients, but they need support and training to do this. Video messages from girls and women committed to abandonment of FGM in high prevalence countries were interspersed with remarks from activists, Ambassadors and UN colleagues, showing the importance of a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach in addressing FGM.