UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, will represent the United Nations at the 1st African Summit on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage (CM), taking place in Dakar, Senegal on June 16-18.
The objective of the summit is to translate the commitment of governments, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders to end FGM and CM in Africa into action. It will bring together survivors/activists at the forefront of the fight, with all stakeholders to forge a way forward. Discussions will focus on the impact of these harmful, violent, and discriminatory practices that still exist in some countries on the African continent.
UN Women Executive Director will represent the United Nations at the event. Held on the heels of the Day of the African Child, the Summit is organized by the governments of Senegal and Gambia in partnership with the Big Sisters movement and the NGO Safe Hands for Girls led by UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador Jaha Dukureh, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank. At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone FGM, and 650 million women and girls in the world today were married before age 18.
The current rate of decline in child marriage, 1.9% over the past ten years, is insufficient to meet the SDG target. In Africa, these practices are deeply rooted in traditional cultures and entrenched in gender inequality and poverty. The Executive Director will also meet with senior Senegalese authorities and key stakeholders and partners to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment to accelerate progress in the eradication of FGM and CM.