#Article (Archive)

Global ban on FGM

Dec 21, 2012, 8:49 AM

The move taken by U.N. General Assembly by unanimously approving a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, FGM, is laudable.

To us, this is a renewed global push to end this harmful practice once and for all.

FGM, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women’s sexuality and enhances fertility, is banned in many parts of the world.

According to UN reports, almost 2,000 communities across Africa abandoned female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in 2011.

To us, this is a positive motive, and we hope that more international and local commitments will be shown in the coming year.

While many link it to religious and cultural practices, many Muslim and Christian leaders have spoken out against it.

Although not legally binding, General Assembly resolutions reflect international concerns and carry moral and political weight.

The U.N. said in 2010 that about 70 million girls and women had undergone the procedure, and the World Health Organization said about 6,000 girls were circumcised every day.

The resolution, co-sponsored by over 100 countries and adopted by consensus, calls the practice harmful and a serious threat to the psychological, sexual and reproductive health of women and girls.

It calls on the U.N.’s 193 member states to condemn the practice and launch education campaigns to eliminate it.

It also urges all countries to enact and enforce legislation to prohibit the practice, and to end impunity for violators.

We, therefore, call on the Gambian authorities to also legislate against the harmful practice, as soon as possible.

We salute the efforts of all local and international organizations fighting for the elimination of FGM/FGC.