WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Female genital mutilation is the cutting or removal of these body parts of women for nonmedical purposes. The practice has no health benefits, but many harmful physical and psychological effects. Unbelievably, millions of young women and girls around the world are victims of or at risk for FGM.

Independent Women’s Forum’s Vice President of External Relations, Andi Bottner, issued the following statement.

“As we mark this day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, let’s make sure zero means zero. There are still nine states without anti-FGM laws on the books. How can this be the case in the United States? All fifty states need to recognize this barbaric practice for what it is, violence against young women and girls. It is unacceptable.”

Bottner previously served at the U.S. Department of State as Director for the Office of International Women’s Issues. Prior to her work at the State Department, Bottner served at the U.S. Department of Justice as Principal Deputy Director and later, as Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 510,000 women and girls in the United States have suffered this procedure or are at risk. Right here in the United States, there are still nine states without anti-FGM legislation on the books. This must change. All of our fifty states must recognize and outlaw this abuse.

Read more from IWF Senior Fellow Meaghan Mobbs HERE.



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.