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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for urgent action to stop female genital mutilation, child marriage and other harmful practices carried out against millions of women and girls around the world each year.

UNFPA made that call as it presented its State of the World Population report from UN headquarters in Geneva Monday.

The report was embargoed until Tuesday.

UNFPA Director Mónica Ferro told journalists the report cites at lease 19 practice against girls and women girls that have been universally denounced as human rights violations – from breast ironing to virginity testing.  

Ferro said the study was also groundbreaking in that it treats these practices as human rights violations. The study indicates that every day, hundreds of thousands of girls around the world are subjected to practices that harm them physically or psychologically – with the full knowledge and consent of their families and communities.

Ferro said the three widespread practices that cause harm are genital mutilation, child marriage and preference for male children.  

Genital mutilation is the removal or partial removal of all external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Ferro said this year, 4.1 million girls around the world are at risk for genital mutilation.

The report also estimates that some 33,000 girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage, often to men much older than them. And report says, because of gender-bias towards males, extreme neglect of female children has led 140 million “missing” females world-wide.

While Ferro reports the “tide is turning,” with more laws being pass to prevent these abuses and traditional practitioners are changing their ways, she says the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse some of that progress.  

Ferro said pandemic-related lockdowns have separated woman from medical and domestic-issue-related caregivers, and cases of violence against women could surge. She said “We cannot slow down the pace.” of addressing these issues.

News Source: Voice of America

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Nicole Kidman shares photo of rarely-seen daughter Sunday on her 12th birthday

NICOLE Kidman has shared a rare photo of her daughter Sunday Rose as the young girl celebrates turning.

Nicole and husband Keith Urban have kept their daughters out of the public eye, and rarely share snaps of their girls on social media.

8 Nicole shared a sweet tribute on Sunday's birthdayCredit: Instagram

In honor of the big day, however, the Oscar-winning actress shared a snap of her cuddled into Sunday, with just the back of the tween's head showing.

She captioned the picture: "Birthday hugs for our darling Sunday.

"Happy Birthday baby girl."

Along with Sunday Rose, the 52-year-old mom and country music star Keith are parents to daughter Faith Margaret, nine.

8 Nicole has two daughters with country music star husband Keith Urban 8 Nicole shared a throwback picture for her 9-year-old daughter Faith Margaret's birthday on Instagram 8Credit: Rex Features 8 The pair wed in 2006Credit: Getty - Contributor

In 2019, she talked about raising her young girls with Keith, and admitted that she would love for other women to share their knowledge with her girls.

She said: "I've worked now with so many young women, and obviously I'm raising young girls right now.

"If someone came up to my children and was willing to share their knowledge with no agenda, nothing other than just hoping that they have a great life, and in some way help them, I would be so grateful to them as a mother.

"So, that's what I try to do."

Nicole and Keith also celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary in 2019.

8 They have two daughters togetherCredit: Getty - Contributor

She told People about the moment she knew Keith was the man for her after meeting him at an event in 2005.

Nicole said: “It was my [38th] birthday, and he stood outside with gardenias at 5 a.m. on my stoop in New York.

“That is when I went, ‘This is the man I hope I get to marry.’”

8 Nicole was previously married to Tom Cruise for 11 years 8 Together they have a daughter Isabella, 27, and son Connor, 24 most read in entertainmentBIG DRAMALittle People’s Zach & Tori Roloff ditch Jeremy’s big bash during family feudBREAKING THE RULES!Pregnant Joy-Anna Duggar wears low-cut tank top after ditching TV showJUST DANCETeen Mom Jenelle Evans twerks in bikini for new TikTokBUSTING OUTRHOBH’s Denise storms out of Kyle’s party to go to strip club with husbandSAD MADYJon and Kate Gosselin’s daughter Mady says she ‘cries at least once a day’INN BUSINESSSister Wives' Meri Brown’s bed and breakfast re-opens after pandemic shutdown

Before Keith, Nicole was married to Tom Cruise for 11 years.

They share daughter Isabella, 27, and son Connor, 24, however, it is thought Nicole is estranged from the pair.

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