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

9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries, including a delegation from the United States. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Civil Rights Lawsuit for Transgender Workers Is First of its Kind - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has brought two lawsuits on behalf of transgender workers. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Advocates and Legislators Say NFL Corrections Go Wide But Not Deep Enough - Women's rights activists and anti-violence advocates are continuing to put pressure on the National Football League (NFL), calling for a more inclusive and robust institutional response to domestic violence and sexual assault as well as an independent investigation into the League. This summer, NFL executive leadership came under fire after the League failed to take action when video evidence of Ravens' running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee surfaced. . . .