Pope Francis on Sunday called female genital mutilation a crime saying fight for women’s rights, equality and opportunity must continue for the good of society.
He called upon all relevant agencies to put all preventative measures to end the vice, He was speaking to reporters on the plane returning from a four-day trip to Bahrain.
“How is it that today in the world we cannot stop the tragedy of infibulation of young girls?” he asked, referring to the ritual cutting of a girls’ external genitalia. “This is terrible that today there is a practice that humanity isn’t able to stop. It’s a crime. It’s a criminal act,” he said
In February this year, the Pope condemned female genital mutilation and trafficking of women for prostitution, terming them humiliating acts to women’s dignity and urged officials to do everything possible to end both.
“This practice, which is unfortunately common in various parts of the world, humiliates the dignity of a woman and gravely attacks her physical integrity,” Francis said.
He was speaking on the U.N. International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
According to the United Nations, FGM is concentrated in about 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East but is also practiced by immigrant populations elsewhere. More than four million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM this year.
Around 4 million, or one in five, women and girls have been subjected to FGM and it prevalence stands at 21 percent.