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Today the world celebrates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a tradition that still puts at risk the life and health of millions of women and girls.
The Cyprus Family Planning Association (CFPA) was founded in 1971 and became an IPPF Member Association in 1972. It runs a family planning clinic in Nicosia, providing a range of services, including HIV and AIDS testing. The facility draws on the help of a number of volunteer gynaecologists. Hundreds of young people provide peer group counselling, and also run a telephone helpline and workshops on sex education and sexuality awareness on a voluntary basis.
Somaliland has an estimated population of between 3.5 and 4 million people and one of the world’s highest maternal, neonatal and infant mortality levels. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a major problem in Somaliland with a prevalence close to 98%. Literacy rate is around 18% and Unemployment is extremely high with most families receiving remittance from family members abroad to meet their basic needs.
Vassilis is an openly gay man from Cyprus, where he volunteered and worked for the Cyprus Family Planning Association (CFPA). Conservative values have a significant influence over public opinion in Cyprus when it comes to LGBTI rights. Vassilis is an intern at the IPPF European Network office.