Encouraging the African diaspora to advocate for the rights of women and girls on the continent is among the goals of this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), observed on 6 February.
FGM is practiced in nearly 30 African countries but can also be found in places such as Colombia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan and Russia.
Nafissatou Diop is Coordinator of a joint programme by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on accelerating the abandonment of the practice, which is recognized as a human rights violation.
She said African communities abroad have a huge influence on what is going on back home and getting them to promote gender equality as a means to address poverty and development can help stamp out FGM.
Ms Diop has been speaking to Cristina Silveiro.