VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday denounced the genital mutilation of millions of girls and the trafficking of women for sexual purposes, including openly on the streets of the city, so that others can benefit from it. ‘silver.
In a public address in St. Peter’s Square, the pope noted that the day is dedicated worldwide to ending ritual mutilation, and he told the crowd that some 3 million girls undergo the practice each year, “often in very dangerous conditions for health.”
“This practice, unfortunately widespread in various parts of the world, humiliates the dignity of women and seriously undermines their physical integrity,” said Francis.
Female genital mutilation includes all procedures that involve changing or injuring female genitalia for non-medical reasons and violates the human rights, health and integrity of girls and women, says the United Nations in advocating the end of this practice.
This practice can cause severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infection and difficulty urinating, as well as consequences for sexual and reproductive health. While it is mainly concentrated in around 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, it is also a problem for girls and women living elsewhere, including among immigrant populations.
According to UN figures, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone this practice.
The pope also told the faithful that on Tuesday there will be a day of prayer and reflection worldwide against human trafficking.
“It’s a deep wound, inflicted by the shameful pursuit of economic interests, without respect for the human person,” said François. “So many girls – you see them in the streets – who are not free, they are slaves to traffickers, who send them to work, and, if they don’t bring in money, they beat them,” the pope said. . “This is happening today in our cities.”
“In the face of these scourges against humanity, I express my sadness and urge all those who have a responsibility to act decisively to prevent both the exploitation and the humiliating practices that particularly afflict women and girls,” said Francois.