FGM/Eritrea. No Peace Without Justice congratulates the Eritrean Government for prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation.

6 Apr, 2007 | Comunicati Stampa

On 4 April 2007, the Government of Eritrea took a historic step by issuing a Proclamation to abolish female genital mutilation. With this ban, the ongoing Eritrean campaign against FGM enters a new and important phase. FGM affects millions of women and girls worldwide, despite being a violation of their rights and posing innumerable and lifelong health risks.

No Peace Without Justice, cooperating closely with local governmental and civil society partners in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, has worked towards the elimination of FGM since 2000, organising conferences and other public and awareness- raising events in Africa and elsewhere, including in the European Parliament. At the conclusion of the 2005 sub-regional Conference in Djibouti, participants – including representatives from Eritrea – no religious basis to justify its perpetuation, and recommending the ratification of the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

The issue of FGM can only be addressed successfully through the development of integrated strategies, which includes the adoption of effective legislation as both a public declaration of commitment and as protection for women and girls courageous enough to say no to the practice. In the African context, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa is a key starting point in this process.

While Eritrea has not ratified the Protocol, it has taken the essential and concrete step of passing legislation prohibiting FGM, a step which many of the countries that have ratified the Protocol have yet to undertake. NPWJ especially welcomes the efforts of Eritrea and reiterates its commitmemt to continue to work with counterparts in its 2007 campaign against FGM, which also focuses on Ethiopia and Sudan.

Thanks to the dedication of the Eritrean authorities, and particularly the untiring work of the National Union of Eritrean Women, the campaign against FGM in Eritrea can now enter a new phase.

For further information please contact: Alvilda Jablonko, email: ajablonko@npwj.org, phone: +32 494 533 915.