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A repeat call for complete abandonment of FGM
  1. Ian Askew1,
  2. Ted Chaiban2,
  3. Benoit Kalasa3,
  4. Purna Sen4
  1. 1Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO
  2. 2Programme Division, Unicef
  3. 3Technical Division, UNFPA
  4. 4Policy Division, UNWomen
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian Askew, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, 20, Ave Appia, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland; askewi{at}

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The WHO, the Unicef, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen) strongly disagree with the opinion of Arora and Jacobs published in the BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics.1

In 1997, WHO, Unicef and UNFPA issued a joint statement on female genital mutilation (FGM), which described the public health and human rights implications of the practice and declared support for its abandonment.2 This statement was expanded in 2008 with 10 United Nations (UN) agencies signing this updated version.3 In 2010, a joint interagency global strategy to end the medicalisation of FGM was released, as it became evident that it was increasingly being performed by healthcare providers.4 These interagency statements and strategies reflect consensus among international experts, UN entities and the Member States they represent, and they also articulate agreed language, classification and terminology that are aligned with current evidence. The global commitment to eliminate all forms of FGM by 2030 is clearly stated in target …

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