11 Feb 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights

Articles

The last cutting season
By AlJazeera, 07 Feb 2020

A new generation of Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation, or FGM. Almost a decade has passed since Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) became illegal in Kenya, but young girls are still cut in the dead of night, far from the authorities’ control. However, when information about the harm from the practice reaches the most rural parts of the country, more and more women refuse, convinced that the next generation can be saved. “My husband is rubbing and rubbing the area where my clitoris used to be. It hurts, but then at least I feel something,” says Purity Resiato Kayieni, 30. The women around her start laughing, their faces flushing. Among the Maasai people, talking about sex is taboo.
 

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Malaysia's anti-FGM advocates: Leave our bodies alone
By AlJazeera, 07 Feb 2020

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Dr Harlina Siraj, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist, still remembers with dread the day she witnessed her first-born daughter's circumcision at five months old. As someone who studied reproductive health and the female anatomy in medical school for years, she was also steeped in her family's traditions and beliefs. As a child, the doctor and her four sisters, like most girls from her generation, also went through circumcision, known as khitan in Malaysia.

 

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We will end female genital mutilation only by backing frontline activists
By The Guardian, 06 Feb 2020

 From the Gambia to Kenya, FGM has been fought most successfully at grassroots level. The world must pay heed. I underwent female genital mutilation at the age of seven, while on holiday in Djibouti. When I returned to school in the UK my teacher told me that this happened to “girls like me”. Thankfully, this type of reaction is no longer common, and this country is much better equipped to protect girls at risk. FGM is now seen as a global issue, which we know has affected more than 200 million women and girls around the world.
 

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Approximately 1 in 4 survivors of female genital mutilation were cut by a health care provider
By UNICEF, 06 Feb 2020

NEW YORK – Around 1 in 4 girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), or 52 million FGM survivors worldwide, were cut by health personnel, according to a new analysis by UNICEF. This proportion is twice as high among adolescents: 34 per cent of FGM victims 15-19 years of age have undergone medicalized FGM, compared to 16 per cent of victims 45-49 years of age, indicating growth in the medicalization of the practice, according to the analysis released on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. “Doctor-sanctioned mutilation is still mutilation. Trained health-care professionals who perform FGM violate girls’ fundamental rights, physical integrity and health,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Medicalizing the practice does not make it safe, moral, or defensible.”

 

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Looking back and pushing forward: the global fight to end FGM
By ReliefWeb, 04 Feb 2020

Each year, approximately four million girls undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Decades of heroic activism, research, legislation, and international cooperation has made significant progress to end FGM. We need continued, coordinated efforts, led by survivors and their communities, to uproot the practice. On International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February, take a look at how action and understanding around FGM has evolved in recent decades, take stock of global trends and progress, and amplify the voices of survivors and activists the fight.

 

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FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken
by UN News, 03 Feb 2020

“My flesh has been taken away, but I can never give away my heart”; those are the powerful words of resolve from Abida Dawud, one of three women survivors of female genital mutilation, or FGM, from Ethiopia, who have been speaking to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) about their experiences. The three women, all from the Afar Region of the Horn of Africa country, tell their stories in the hope that they can empower others in their communities to help bring an end to FGM.
 

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