A day before the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation, experts and workers on the ground said Friday that men had a key role to play in the fight against female circumcision in Africa.
"If men decide to abandon the practice, it is certain women will follow", doctor and Malian deputy Omar Mariko told AFP, men are the ones saying the practice is our tradition and our culture, he added.
Elise Johansen from the World Health Organisation said in many countries it had been found that men were often more opposed to the practice than women, so the "approach must be one that involves the whole community."
In Mali over 90 percent of women between 15 and 49 years of age have been circumcised, with up to 140 million women and girls in 28 countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East.
"The female genital mutilation or cutting poses immediate and long-term consequences for the health of women and girls and violates their human rights", the United Nations Children Fund said.