22 Nov 2011 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights

NPWJ in the news

Lutte contre les mutilations génitales, Un conclave du comité interafricain sur les pratiques traditionnelles
Le Patriote (Abidjan), 18 Nov 2011

Après Dakar, c’est au tour d’Abidjan d’abriter la campagne internationale pour l’interdiction mondiale des mutilations génitales féminines. La Fondation Djigui la grande espérance, coordonnatrice pays de ce grand conclave qui réuni tous les mondiaux de la lutte contre les pratiques traditionnelles néfastes, a organisé hier à son siège sis à Marcory résidentiel un point de presse pour donner les grandes articulations de cette rencontre internationale prévue du 19 au 21 novembre prochain Abidjan. Prenant d’entrée la parole, le président de la fondation Djigui la grande espérance, l’imam Cissé Djiguiba tout en présentant les missions de sa structure a indique que la rencontre du comité interafricain sur les pratiques traditionnelle (CI-AF) va examiner à la session d’Abidjan la situation de crise qui prévaut actuellement au sein de cette organisation. « Mais surtout adopter les modalités de renforcement de la collaboration avec partenaires mondiaux engagés dans la lutte dans le cadre du projet de résolution de l’’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies interdisant les mutilations génitales féminines dans le monde » précise, l’imam Cissé Djiguiba qui était entouré pour la circonstance de Ilwad Elmi et de Alvilda Jabloko des représentants de « no peace Without justice » une organisation sœur ,engagée dans lutte contre les mutilations génitales. MK 

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Kenyan girls cross into Tanzania to escape mutilation
The Standard, Nick Oluoch, 22 Nov 2011

 Hundred of girls are believed to have crossed over to neighbouring Tanzania for fear of being forced to undergo female genital mutilation.
According to residents in Kuria, hundreds of girls, some as young as ten years old, have fled their homes to avoid the traditional rite which is scheduled for December among the Abagumbe clan.

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Ireland: Refugee tribunal must reconsider mutilation threat
The Irish Times, 21 Nov 2011

The member of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal did not make a balanced assessment of the threat to a six-year-old Nigerian girl, who is a member of the Yoruba tribe, of female genital mutilation (FGM), and therefore did not vindicate her constitutional right to the protection of her person when deciding to return her to Nigeria.
The applicant was a six-year-old girl born in Ireland in 2005 to Nigerian parents. She is not an Irish national.
In relation to the threat of FGM, the tribunal member concluded that a girl wishing to avoid it could contact the Nigerian Human Rights Commission and various non- governmental organisations.
In the absence of a balanced assessment of the risks, the High Court considered that the tribunal member had not sufficiently discharged the State’s obligations under article 40.3.2 to protect and vindicate the applicant’s constitutional rights.
The High Court quashed the decision to deport the girl and remitted the application for fresh consideration in the light of the judgment. 

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Women of Sierra Leone saying no to debilitating ritual
Abclocal, Carolyn Johnson , 17 Nov 2011

 The West African nation of Sierra Leone is less than a decade removed from a brutal civil war that decimated the country and its people. For women and girls the challenges are immense; less than a third of them are literate and girls are often subjected to genital mutilation and early marriage. However, with a focus on education and empowering women, things are changing.

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EGYPT: Gynecologist & Cairo woman discuss female mutilation
Women News Network, Nanna Sejsbo, 17 Nov 2011

Heba, a 27 year old Egyptian woman, comes from a family with four daughters. The cutting of her genitalia was not something that was “done” to her. It was a part of life, compatible with having the first period, getting married, having sex with your husband: a ritual confirming a young girl’s ‘womanhood.’
Heba was 12 at the time.
Most of her youth, Heba did not feel anything missing from her body. Like most women in Egypt, she had a circumcision of a ‘mild’ degree, and most of her genitalia are intact.
But in her early twenties, she started cramping up completely during sex and could not go through with the intercourse.
“It would hurt so bad. In Dubai, I went to a gynecologist to understand why this was suddenly a problem. But it wasn’t until his secretary asked me if I was circumcised, that I understood.”

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Arab women, after the revolutions
Now Lebanon, Hussein Ibish, 16 Nov 2011

 While there is no reason to panic, concern about the rise of Islamists in post-dictatorship Arab societies is warranted, especially as the rights of women are particularly and immediately open to attack.
Another serious concern is that some of the Arab world’s deposed secular dictatorships held up their purported advocacy of women’s issues as a false sign of progress, thereby tainting such concerns.
In Egypt, for example, the Mubarak regime was associated with efforts to strongly discourage female genital mutilation. While this practice has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, and is enforced as enthusiastically by Egyptian Coptic Christians and some African animists as by Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood was always in practice opposed to official efforts to suppress it.
The Brotherhood’s official position is that female genital mutilation is neither “halal” (required) nor “haram” (forbidden). Therefore, it should be religiously permissible, and, indeed unobjectionable.
During the Mubarak era, the Muslim Brotherhood objected to the distribution of leaflets calling female genital mutilation “un-Islamic.” This suggests that the Brotherhood is more sympathetic to genital mutilation than it cares to admit, or is more socially conservative than its theological analyses requires. Efforts to suppress this unspeakable atrocity will be difficult to resurrect in the near future, as opposition to female genital mutilation is now closely associated with the hated former regime, especially the former first lady

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