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A report released Thursday by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that at least 200 million girls and women across the world have experienced genital mutilation. The reported also revealed that half of the 200 million females were from Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

In Indonesia, although the barbaric practice was banned in 2006, about 70 million more females had undergone the ritual practice as previously estimated in 2014.

Somalia has been reported to have the highest occurrence of female genital mutilation; recording about 98 percent of the female population all being between the ages of 15 and 49.

UNICEF’s research also reports that some 44 million of female genital mutilation across the globe are at least 14 years or younger. Most of the girls were ritually cut before they turned 5 years.

“In Yemen, 85 percent of girls experienced the practice within their first week of life,” the report said.

The report concluded that, overall prevalence rates across the world have fallen in the past three decades although the progress seems to be unequal. Liberia, Burkina Faso and Kenya were listed as countries with acute declines of such atrocious practices.

“The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women’s sexuality and enhances fertility. One of the targets in the new U.N. goals adopted last September calls for the practice to be eliminated by 2030,” Smita Nordwall noted.

Source: Smita Nordwall (VOA)

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