24 Apr 2012 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Women's rights activists alarmed by UK unease over development targets
By The Guardian, 19 Mar 2015

Activists have accused the British government of undermining negotiations on a set of global goals that will shape the development agenda for the next 15 years, sparking fears that crucial commitments for women could be lost. The UK is understood to be unhappy with some of the targets contained in the proposed set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and wants to reopen negotiations. Women’s rights groups said on Thursday that renegotiating the targets at this stage could prompt renewed debate on the inclusion of targets on women’s reproductive rights, still a controversial area for some governments, and violence against women. It could also result in the loss of targets on equitable trade and climate change.

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Panic as gang circumcises married women
By Patrick Muthuri , 23 Apr 2012

Anxiety has gripped Athanja Sub-Location in Tigania East District after a group of women allegedly kidnapped and forcefully circumcised married women who are opposed to female circumcision.
One woman was rescued from a group of circumcisers while another is still missing after she was reportedly hidden after the alleged mutilation in Kaithe village.
Following the incident, seven suspects alleged to be members of a group that has been abducting woman and forcefully circumcising them were arrested.
"The victim who escaped was lured into a house in the name of a meeting by the women. When she entered the house, she was ordered to undress but she screamed and neighbours came to her rescue.
The gang has already abducted and circumcised one woman who is still missing," said Ms Evangeline Kangai, a women’s rights activist.
Area OCPD Charles Koskei said the suspects will be arraigned in court for propagating harmful cultural practices and urged the community to intensify campaigns against the vice.

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Doctors in UK to be investigated over female circumcision claims
By Mark Hennessy, The Irish Times, 23 Apr 2012

POLICE IN London and the west midlands are to launch an investigation following the emergence of recordings showing a doctor and dentist offering to carry out, or arrange, female genital mutilation (FGM) on young girls.
The allegations against the two, and an alternative medical practitioner, were published in the Sunday Times, which is to be contacted by the Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Constabulary.
The majority of British-based victims are from Egyptian, Ethiopian, Somalian and Sudanese families, while young girls from Nigerian, Kenyan, Togolese and Senegalese backgrounds are also at risk, says lobby group Forward.
The Met has been contacted by 166 young girls, since 2008,who feared they were about to be subjected to FGM on the orders of their African parents. Proponents believe it is necessary to curb the sexual appetites of young women.
Up to 100,000 women in the UK are alleged to have been forced to undergo the procedure – defined by the World Health Organisation as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs” – often without anaesthetic.

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In Kapchorwa, female circumcision defies law
By The Independent, 21 Apr 2012

Girls confused, NGOs want sensitisation, and parents say it will not stand in the way of culture
Shadrach Ruto says since 2010 when Uganda passed the law against female circumcision, or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as the lawmakers call it, people in his Korite village in Kween District in the Sebei heartland had accepted it.  He says women no longer want to undergo this cultural ritual.
But 26-year old Ruto says if he had a daughter, as he indeed does; only that she’s just five years old, he would ensure she’s circumcised.
“Because it reduces sexual desire, [which] reduces prostitution, HIV/Aids, and so she will be able to stay in school,” Ruto reasons in his native Kupsabiny, the language of the Sebei in eastern Uganda.


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Tanzania: Mara Diocese Set to Tackle Gender Based Violence
By Mugini Jacob, Tanzania Daily News, 20 Apr 2012

THE Serengeti "We Can Live Without HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation," is a new programme that aims to reduce gender based violence and HIV/AIDS in 12 villages in Serengeti District, Mara Region.
The project is under the Anglican Church, Mara Diocese and will tackle harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation.

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Kenya: Shun FGM, Tana River Parents Urged
By Joseph Olweny, The Star, 18 Apr 2012

Religious leaders and government departmental heads in Tana River district have criticised those promoting Female Genital Mutilation in the area.
Speaking during the District Advisory Committee meeting yesterday, the leaders said those using the Koran to practise FGM are misleading the residents.
Ministry of Education official Mohammed Yusuf said the fight against FGM needs a lot of awareness, law enforcement and community involvement as it is a deeply embedded cultural practice.

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Activist describes experience with female genital mutilation
By Jakki Thompson, Kansas State Collegian, 18 Apr 2012

Soraya Mire says FGM still officially practiced in 28 countries
Soraya Mire, author, filmmaker and human rights activist choked back tears and shared flashbacks of her experiences with female genital mutilation in the Leadership Studies Building on Tuesday night at a lecture sponsored by the Union Program Council. Audience members, reciprocated the emotion, often dropping their jaws in shock after hearing the horrors of her tales.
“This has been one of the most welcoming audiences I have ever experienced,” Mire said. “It is so rare for me to have flashbacks since I have been recovering now for more than 20 years. It is one of my most difficult times as I am a survivor healing from trauma. It was an environment full of people who felt like new friends.”
Mire came to speak about female genital mutilation or female circumcision. One of the most common types of FGM is where the tip of the clitoris is cut off. There are also other types of FGM such as sewing the labia majora and minora together.

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Minister in 'racist circumcision outrage'
By The Local, 17 Apr 2012

Swedish minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth's participation in a "racist spectacle" in which she carved up a cake depicting a naked black woman has sparked outrage and prompted calls for the minister's dismissal.
"In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden," Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association told The Local.

Sabuni's comments come following Adelsohn Liljeroth's participation in an art installation that took place at Stockholm's Moderna Museet in connection with World Art Day on April 15th.

As part of the installation, which was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision, the culture minister began cutting a large cake shaped like a black woman, symbolically starting at the clitoris.

Makode Aj Linde, the artist who created the installation and whose head is part of the cake cut by the minister, wrote about the "genital mutilation cake" on his Facebook page.

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