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Online Petition launched to Ban Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by a group of Women belonging to Dawoodi Bohra Community

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Delhi, Dec 10, 2016 : Recently, a petition has been doing the rounds on Internet. The online petition is launched by a group of women belonging to the Dawoodi Bohra community who underwent Female Genital Mutilation.

This petition aims at rooting out this ancient practice and was initiated by an advocacy group known as ‘Speak Out on FGM’ on Change.org on Thursday ahead of the International Human Rights Day.

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According to the PTI, the petition’s report will be submitted to the welfare of women and child wing of United Nations. A similar petition was also launched last year as well, in the month of December which had received an overwhelming response and was submitted to Union Women and Child Development minister, Maneka Gandhi.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution on banning FGM. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

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Many women involved in the petition voiced their opinions. Ranalvi said, “I have no hesitation in admitting that I was subjected to FGM at a very young age, but I have ensured that my daughter, who is now 22, does not undergo this brutality.” Another 50-year-old working woman, Maasooma Ranalvi from Delhi said, “Our main objective to make at least everyone aware about this age-old practice being observed in our country since last 1400 years which in not only shameful but is unconstitutional and utterly violates human rights.”

Poonawala, the president of the University Women’s Association, a non-profit organisation working towards empowering women quoted,”We want the government to acknowledge it and stand behind us. Promulgate a law to flush out this regressive ritual from the society.”

prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Somalia Calls To Outlaw Female Genital Mutilation

Flavia Mwangovya, End Harmful Practices program manager at Equality Now, said an anti-FGM law would curb the practice.

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Somalia
FILE - A badge reads "The power of labor aginst FGM" is seen on a volunteer during a conference on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in Cairo, Egypt. VOA

A spate of deaths of young girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) has renewed calls for Somalia to outlaw the tradition.

Four girls, ages 10 and 11, from central and northern Somalia have died in the last three months after having been cut, and seven others are in hospitals, activists said.

“More and more cases of girls who have died or end up seriously injured after FGM are coming out,” said Hawa Aden Mohamed, director of the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development, a local women’s group in the east African country.

“These cases confirm what we have been saying all along — that FGM kills and that we need a law to stop it,” Mohamed said. “The harm it causes is blatantly clear.”

 

Somalia
A Somali woman walks through a camp of people displaced from their homes elsewhere in the country by the drought, shortly after dawn in Qardho, Somalia, March 9, 2017. VOA

 

An estimated 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia, the United Nations says.

One of 28 African countries where the tradition is endemic, Somalia has the world’s highest rates of FGM — 98 percent of women between 15 and 49 have undergone the ritual.

Somalia’s constitution prohibits FGM, but efforts to pass legislation to punish offenders have been stalled by parliamentarians afraid of losing voters who view FGM as a part of their tradition.

Government and hospital officials were not immediately available to comment on the deaths or hospital admissions.

The charity Save the Children said it rescued seven girls — aged between 5 and 8 years old — on Sunday from Somalia’s northern Puntland state. The girls had undergone FGM and were bleeding excessively; they are now receiving hospital treatment.

Somalia
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“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg as many more cases go unreported,” said Timothy Bishop, country director of Save the Children in Somalia.

Campaigners said Suheyra Qorane Farah, 10, from Puntland died Sunday after contracting tetanus, having undergone FGM on Aug. 29.

Two sisters, Aasiyo and Khadijo Farah Abdi Warsame, age 10 and 11, from the same region bled to death Sept. 11 after visiting a cutter across the border in neighboring Ethiopia.

The death of Deeqa Nuur, 10, in July from severe bleeding following FGM prompted the attorney general to initiate Somalia’s first prosecution against FGM — using existing laws — but the investigation has faced challenges.

Also Read: Every Three Minutes a Teenage Girl is Infected by HIV- UNICEF

Flavia Mwangovya, End Harmful Practices program manager at Equality Now, said an anti-FGM law would curb the practice.

“A specific law can express punishments and specify stiffer penalties, ensure that all accomplices are held accountable, and gives guidance on the kind of evidence needed to prove the crime,” she said. (VOA)