FGM: Is this the Final Stretch?

In a fresh push to end FGM by 2030, WHO launched a new tool today that calculates the cost of the practice, marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, UN News reports.
 
The damage: $1.4 billion a year. The practice commands 30% of yearly health expenditure in some countries, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.
 
Then there’s the devastating mental and physical toll on some 200 million women and girls who’ve been cut. FGM increases the risk of dying in childbirth, Deutsche Welle reports
 
Though a trend toward medicalizing the practice has given it new legitimacy, attitudes toward the practice are shifting. 26 countries in Africa and the Middle East have rolled out anti-FGM legislation.

Ending FGM, however, is a tall order. The practice is “near universal” in some countries, and reform efforts can backfire; bans can drive FGM underground.

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