Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-27-09

Reconsideration of Asylum Petition Granted in FGM Case

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week in favor of a family seeking asylum in the US on the grounds that their daughter may face female genital mutilation (FGM) if they return to their home country of Indonesia. The asylum claim was filed in 2002 by Bob Benito Benyamin and Anabella Rodriguez after their business visa expired. Their claim rested, in part, on the fact that their eldest daughter had been forced, without their consent, to undergo FGM in Indonesia as an infant. They feared a younger daughter would be forced to undergo the procedure if the family returned.

The decision (see PDF) reversed the Bureau of Immigration Appeal's (BIA) decision that found the FGM performed on the family's eldest daughter did not constitute past persecution and that the mutilation did not result in serious harm. The appeals court ruling stated, "the BIA's attempt to parse the distinction between differing forms of female genital mutilation is not only a threat to the rights of women in a civilized society, but also runs counter to [established] precedent."

The Court found that the parents may derivatively qualify for asylum based on the "well-founded fear of future persecution based on the possibility that Anakarina (their younger daughter) would be forced to endure female genital mutilation if forced to return to Indonesia." A lawyer for the family told the San Francisco Chronicle that the decision corrected key legal errors made by the BIA and that "there's no such thing as mild female genital mutilation." The asylum claim will be reconsidered.

FGM is the partial or total removal of external genitalia. The practice both increases the risk of HIV transmission and increases infant and maternal mortality rates. In many cases, FGM decreases women's sexual satisfaction. Approximately 3 million young women annually are forced to undergo FGM as a form of birth control and as initiation into womanhood.

Media Resources: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 8/24/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/7/09; San Francisco Chronicle 8/25/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .