2014 Tutu Fellow Mireille Tushiminina has been appointed the Global Coordinator for the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to Eliminate FGM is the largest global programme to accelerate the end of FGM and advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls.
Despite being internationally recognized as a human rights violation, some 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM, and if current rates persist, an estimated 68 million more will be cut by 2030. Female genital mutilation refers to any procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genitals for non-medical reasons.
The programme has catalyzed a global movement to eliminate FGM and has shown an unparalleled ability to effect change at the regional, subregional, national and community levels. It harnesses the complementary expertise of the two agencies and works in 17 countries, in partnership with governments, civil society, social movements, religious leaders and communities. Its comprehensive approach balances culturally sensitive interventions with an emphasis on the human rights of women and girls to remain dignified, healthy and whole.
The programme strengthens policy development and implementation, while improving access to quality health care, protection, and legal and social services. It engages communities and educates people on the need to eliminate FGM, transforming social norms through collective action.
Mireille brings more than 20 years of expertise at senior management level in international development, conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, women's peace and security, and human and gender rights. She has served as a UN Women Country Programme Coordinator in Burundi.
You can read more about the programme at the UNFPA/UNICEF website. The cover photo is from their website, too, where they have a number of highly informative articles.