Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
The World Health Organization estimates that some 140 million women have been subjected to some form of female genital mutilation. A practice the UN calls a violation of human rights and gender equality. They say around 3 million girls face the risk of FGM every year and have declared February 6th the 'International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation'. To mark this day, Becky spoke to Naana Otoo-Oyortey from the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development.
She identified various recurring problems when it comes to tackling this subject.
"There are women who don't even know that they've been through FGM, and that in itself is challenging because if you had it at a much younger age you may not recall when it happened, and you may not see yourself as different, you'd see yourself as normal."
There is also a common acceptance of this as a tradition within certain communities. "For a lot of people they are born into a culture where they see it also as part of their culture. We've had young girls in the UK who have said 'I wanted to go through it because I felt it was part of my culture'. Some girls who say 'I went on holiday and I insisted that I went through it'."
However, Otoo-Oyortey notes that progress is also being made, particularly in Europe, where the younger generation are challenging the status quo. "FGM affects primarily younger people, and in Africa even though you see that the campaign is mainly led by older women, we're seeing in Europe that there's much more engagement, primarily because young people have more access and have a better voice, and are able to understand their rights, and are able to engage on this issue."