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Clinton urged to support UN call to end female genital mutilation

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Faye Mooney
WVoN co-editor

Two politicians from the US Congress have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support a United Nations (UN) resolution seeking to ban female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide.

The UN proposal calls on all countries to ban FGM at home so that there would be no point in transporting girls abroad to have them cut, and to support community-based outreach and educational efforts.

In a letter signed by 18 politicians, Democrat Joe Crowley and Republican Mary Bono Mack asked the Secretary of State to ensure that the US “lends its name to this effort and press for passage of such a resolution”.

The authors of the letter believe that by passing the resolution “the global community will send a strong and unified message that FGM is harmful to women and girls and an unacceptable practice in the 21st century”.

The call came on International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (February 6).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as “procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”.

The letter refers to concerning WHO figures, which estimate that “130-140 million women and girls have been subjected to FGM, and up to two million girls – or 6,000 a day – are threatened with FGM each year”.

FGM has been illegal in theUnited States since 1966. Crowley and Bono Mack last year authored legislation that would make it a federal crime to transport a minor outside the US for FGM.

 

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