Ban on female genital mutilation called for by U.N.
Barbaric practice continues in parts of Asia, Africa
In a major victory for women in many Third World Nations, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation. The resolution urges the 193 U.N. member states to condemn the practice, in addition to enacting legislation banning the practice.
Model and writer Waris Dirie is an advocate against female genital mutilation. Her own experience with the practice in Somalia was dealt with in her book, "Desert Flower."
"This an important moment for everyone engaged in the fight against FGM - and most particularly for all the girls and women who have been affected by this grotesque practice," José Luis Díaz, U.N. representative for the non-profit rights group Amnesty International declared.
"The U.N. resolution places FGM in a human rights framework and calls for a holistic approach, stressing the importance of empowerment of women, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health and breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence."
FGM is usually done to reinforce traditional beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behavior. Many communities believe the process reduces a woman's libido and therefore lessens the chances of her engaging in premarital or extramarital sex.
When the vaginal opening is closed off or narrowed through the process, the pain of opening it, and the fear that it would be found out, is considered further deterrent to "illicit" sexual intercourse.
There are no religious writings of any of the world's religions that condone the practice. Many practitioners insist that the practice has religious support. While some religious leaders promote it, there are still more throughout the most obscure reaches of the globe that consider it irrelevant to religion. Still many others condemn it and contribute to its elimination.
Amnesty International estimates that three million girls face FGM each year. The practice is still commonplace in 28 countries in Africa, as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and in certain ethnic groups in South America. The practice also continues in many immigrant communities, including those in Europe and the United States.
The U.N. resolution could have a significant impact on halting FGM. Amy Fairbairn, director of communications for Tostan, a non-profit development organization working in Africa says that because FGC is a social norm in some countries and regions, she believes change requires more work on the grassroots level.
"The ban reaffirms an important message that the international community does not believe female genital cutting should continue," she said. "At the country level, it may help more countries to look at this practice and to look at the most effective ways of approaching it."
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Africa News
- Nelson Mandela es símbolo de reconciliación, dice vocero de Obispos de Sudáfrica
- Revered South African statesman Nelson Mandela dies at 95
- Obianuju Ekeocha on World AIDS Day - The Condom and the Killer Virus
- Hoping to boost trade, Kenya launches $13.8 billion China-built railway
- Goodbye Islam - Angola orders all mosques shut down in Islamic ban
- Protests in Angola erupt after deaths of anti-government activists
- Smartphones to bring a $300bn boost to Africa GDP
- Obianuju Ekeocha Calls out Melinda Gates for Turning up the Heat of Population Control in Africa
- Eyes on Malawi: Help Protect the Life and Dignity of African Women and Children!
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?