Banning FGM once and for all: a goal we can achieve

6 Feb, 2009 | Press Releases

Today the World Marks the Sixth International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation – Brussels-Rome, 6 February 2009

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Gianfranco Dell’Alba, President and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:
Brussels-Rome, 6 February 2009: As the world observes the sixth International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), No Peace Without Justice is appealing to all States affected by FGM to adopt and enforce adequate and effective legislation to ban a practice that constitutes one of the most widespread and systematic violations of the human right to personal integrity, committed against millions of women and girls, and which goes unchallenged under the pretext of respecting local customs. The voice of the many women’s associations that fight a daily battle to challenge this harmful practice and advocate for its abandonment must be heard: FGM should not be defended under the guise of “culture” or “tradition”, but should explicitly be treated as a human rights violation that needs to be addressed within a human rights framework

“Thanks to increasing global efforts to bring an end to FGM, there has been encouraging progress towards this goal in recent years, with the adoption of specific anti-FGM legislation by many countries in which the practice is carried out and wide-ranging information and public awareness campaigns to make the elimination of FGM a priority, in the context of the promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls.Nevertheless many challenges are still outstanding and accelerated concerted action involving governments, international and local NGOs, UN agencies and other stakeholders is still needed to achieve further progress in all countries, as well as at the regional and global level.

“No Peace Without Justice highlights the crucial importance of adequate anti‑FGM legislation as a pivotal tool to promote behaviour change and to create a protective environment for girls and women affected by this practice. Therefore, NPWJ urges all African governments to enact, review and implement laws and policies to protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, in accordance with The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which in article 5 explicitly calls for the legal prohibition of FGM.

“To this end, in the framework of its 2009-2010 international campaign, NPWJ is promoting high-level initiatives to spur greater and more cohesive political mobilisation among activists, parliamentarians and governments in order to identify and consolidate the best strategies and legislative policies against FGM, increase the number of countries that ratify and implement the Maputo Protocol and create the foundations of a real and strong international alliance to defeat FGM once and for all”.

For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-3914.