UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, stated, "These encouraging findings show that social norms and cultural practices are changing, and communities are uniting to protect the rights of girls and women. We call on the global community to join us in this critical effort. Together, we can end FGM/C in one generation and help millions of girls and women to live healthier, fuller lives, and reach their potential."
In 2011, the UNFPA reports that 18,000 community education sessions were held to discourage FGM/C. As a result, almost 2,000 communities renounced FGM/C practices that year alone in Burkina Faso, Dijbouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya, and Somalia.
Internationally, an estimated 100 million to 140 million women and girls have undergone an FGM procedure, with the practice widely being regarded as a human rights violation. 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: UNFPA Statement 2/6/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/2/12
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .