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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created a global and gendered crisis that is compounding existing inequalities and disproportionately affecting girls and women. Emerging evidence from the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 shows school closures, disruptions in essential services and rising poverty contributed to girls’ increased risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). School closures limited the monitoring and reporting of cases of FGM. Rising household monetary poverty may have contributed to families adopting negative coping mechanisms, including having girls undergo FGM as a precursor to marriage to reduce household costs. A report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates 2 million additional cases of FGM by 2030 due to the pandemic.

female genital mutilation,  violence against women and girls,  empowerment,  education,