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Monday, November 15, 2010

World Leaders Urge UN to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

November 15, 2010
African Press Agency

Kampala (Uganda) Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni was among international leaders from 42 countries who have called on the UN general assembly to adopt a resolution to ban female genital mutilation worldwide on Monday.

Through an appeal published on Monday in the International Herald Tribune, political leaders from 42 countries around the world call upon the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a Resolution to ban female genital mutilation worldwide.

Among the numerous prominent personalities who have signed are First Ladies Janet Kataha Museveni of Uganda, Chantal Compaore of Burkina Faso, Mariana Mane Sanha of Guinea Bissau, Chantal De Souza Yayi, of Benin, and Clio Napoletano of Italy.

Others are the Nobel laureates Nadime Gordimer, Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi and Marty Ahtisaari, as well as parliamentarians, political leaders and civil society activists from countries concerned by the practice of FGM and others.

The appeal has been launched by the international NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC), the European Network for the Prevention and Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices (EuroNet FGM) and the Senegalese association "La Palabre", in the framework of a campaign aiming at promoting the adoption by the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly of a Resolution to ban female genital mutilation worldwide, and by doing so to strengthen this decisive battle for human rights worldwide.

A United Nations General Assembly resolution to ban FGM worldwide would step up and signal the international community’s universal condemnation of this blatant human rights violation, with important implications worldwide. It would serve to strengthen laws that currently ban FGM and provide new impetus for those nations that currently do not have such laws on the books.

Critically, a UN resolution would contribute significantly to a global change in the perception of FGM as a clear human rights violation against millions of women around the world, instead of masking it merely as a cultural, religious or public health issue.

This is a shift that women’s rights advocates have tenaciously pushed for over the past two decades.