This week the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) held the first ever international conference on female genital mutilation (FGM), which discussed research, healthcare services, and preventive measures. Currently, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme is working in 15 African nations to prevent FGM and is establishing partnerships with African Universities to spread awareness of the dangers of FMG.
Nafissatou Diop, coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme, stated, "This initiative will improve the lives, health and dignity of women and girls in Africa." She noted that over three million African communities "are engaged in group discussion, role playing, theatre, poetry and song about the issue [of] female genital mutilation/cutting."
According to the New York Times, an estimated 92 million girls and women have undergone FGM procedures across the continent of Africa, with FGM being practiced as a rite of passage in 28 African countries. The procedure, which involves the partial or total removal of external genitalia, is designed to decrease women's sexual desire and is seen in many cultures as essential for a women's suitability for marriage. The practice is also known to both increase the risk of HIV transmission and infant and maternal mortality rates.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 10/21/11; UNFPA Statement 10/18/11; New York Times 10/15/11
11/25/2014 Marissa Alexander Has Accepted a Plea Deal - Marissa Alexander, the woman imprisoned for firing a warning shot in the presence of her abusive husband, chose to accept a plea deal Monday with the state of Florida, pleading guilty to three felony counts of aggravated assault.
As part of the plea deal, Alexander received three years imprisonment, but she will be credited for the time she's spent behind bars. . . .
11/24/2014 The City of Louisville Has Overwhelmingly Approved a CEDAW Resolution - The city of Louisville, Kentucky approved a resolution that will use the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a framework for all future policy aimed at ending gender-based discrimination.
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh introduced the resolution, which passed overwhelmingly on November 6. . . .