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This unique mannequin challenge highlights the issue of female genital mutilation

As children across the world prep for Christmas holidays, hundreds of Kenyan girls wish to spend Christmas in schools, rather than with their families, fearing that their genitals will be mutilated.

The United Nations agency for children, Unicef, shared a video to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation. The video shot along the lines of the mannequin challenge, is dubbed as the most powerful mannequin challenge of the year on social media.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is a practice that involves the partial or total elimination of the external female genitalia, for non-medical reasons. This tradition is known to be practiced in certain communities of Africa, Asia and Europe, according to Unicef.

In Chad, a country in Central Africa, for every two girls, there is one victim of FGM, the video states. According to a NCBI report, the highest number of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the world is recorded in Nigeria, accounting to about one-quarter of the estimated 115–130 million circumcised women in the world.

The video filmed in Chad, pans through groups of people engaged in daily activities.  The plot takes a sudden twist before it ends with a zoomed shot of the hut where a girl is subjected to enforced mutilation.

With what seems like yet another casual mannequin challenge, the video voices out a grave issue with the message that it’s about time we acted to end the practice. “We can’t stay frozen” reads the text.

Cutting/FGM is seen as a harmful, and unnecessary tradition, which affects the lives of over 200 million young girls and women around the world. Although there has been a decline in the prevalence of FGM, a UN report says the population growth will directly impact up to 63 million more girls by 2050.

“Female genital mutilation is a fundamental violation of the rights of girls and is typically upheld by a deeply entrenched social norm, especially in areas where it is widespread. It is a manifestation of gender discrimination,” the Unicef website reports.The UN report listed the host of health problems FGM exposes one to. In some cases, the girls could suffer fatal infections or may bleed to death.

Unicef’s attempt to raise awareness about the female genital mutilation, was well received on social media. Many shared the video and said that it had a powerful message.

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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2016 16:03:05 IST

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