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

July-29-14

Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US

The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.

According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.

Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. Dukureh, whose campaign was backed by The Guardian, says her half-sister died from complications of FGM. The successful campaign called on the Obama administration to conduct a report on the statistics of FGM in the United States.

Catherine Russell, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, attending the Girl Summit in London last week, indicated that the study would be conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Summit, hosted by the United Kingdom and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and attended by more than 600 people, aimed at mobilizing global efforts to end FGM and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation.

In her petition, Dukureh says: "Many in the US hear about FGM and think it only happens in far away lands. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. I hear from girls every day that were born here in the United States who have been through FGM. These young women are your average American teenagers -- some of them you know, some of them you went or go to school with. And there are many more girls in the US that are at risk of being cut. The practice of FGM is illegal in the US but girls are being taken to other countries, usually their parents country of origin where they are cut in what is now known as 'vacation cutting.'"

The Obama administration has set up a preliminary working group for FGM prevention and action. Its first step is to examine the extent of FGM in the US and explore ways to eliminate the practice. The practice of FGM on girls under 18 has been a crime in the US since 1996. Last year, President Obama strengthened the law by making it a crime to transport a girl outside of the US for the purpose of FGM.

Sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision, FGM is the removal or cutting of part or all of a woman or girl's genitals. The practice, which is medically unnecessary, can lead to serious health issues such as infection, illness and death. FGM still affects up to 140 million women and girls worldwide.

Video via Change.org and The Guardian.

Media Resources: Change.org; The Guardian 7/22/14; Girl Summit 2014; Equality Now; Feminist Majority Foundation


© 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

7/31/2015 Mexican Court Sentences Five Men to 697 Years on Prison for Femicide - Last week, a Mexican court made a unanimous decision to convict five men of eleven femicides, or gender-driven killing. . . .
 
7/30/2015 Boy Scouts of America Lifts Ban on Gay Troop Leaders - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have voted to repeal its national ban on gay and lesbian adult staff and volunteers this week. "The resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation," a Boy Scouts of America statement read. Just 15 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that the BSA had the right to discriminate against gay volunteers and staff in a 5-4 decision. . . .
 
7/29/2015 An Extreme Abortion Ban is Now Law in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an extreme 20 week abortion ban into law last week. The law, which bans abortions performed past 20 weeks, has no exception whatsoever for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomalies. . . .