Emma Bonino at BanFGM Conference: women are not a minority to be protected but a major protagonist of change

30 Jan, 2017 | Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Italian Senate, Rome, 30 January – 1 February 2017

“Promoting women’s rights represents an universally relevant issue. It doesn’t mean to protect a minority but to empower women as a major protagonist of change. Tackling the issue of female genital mutilation is not about imparting lessons to one another but rather, about a process. Differences must not undermine us, nor should we allow stereotypes to divide us”.  This is the message Emma Bonino, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of No Peace Without Justice, reiterated in her address at the Conference on the worldwide ban of female genital mutilation (FGM) that opened yesterday at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As further stressed by Emma Bonino, the eradication of FGM “is not a vision that rich countries wish to impose on poor ones, but there are clear-cut boundaries that cannot be crossed. We have the utmost respect for other cultures but we must defeat practices that are blatantly harmful”. Crucially,

The three-day conference is organized by No Peace without Justice, the Inter-African Committee (IAC) and their partners, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development. Other panelists at the opening session included Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Interantional Cooperation, Elisabetta Belloni, Secretary General of the Farnesina, Lalla Malika IssoufouFirst Lady of Niger, Chantal Diallo, representing the First Lady of Burkina Faso Silka Kabore, Punami Doko-Toko, representing the First Lady of Benin Claudine Talon, the President of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices, Mariam Lamizana, the Commissioner for gender issues of Ecowas, Fatima Dia Sow, the Counsellor for Women’s Rights of the Office of the U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner, Caroline Ouaffo Wafang.

The purpose of the three-day high-level meeting is to take stock of the results of the BanFGM Campaign, reviewing its principal political milestones, and highlighting its strategy of the engagement of activists, parliamentarians and ministers at the local, national and international level. It will also be an opportunity to continue to widen the focus on FGM activism beyond Africa, highlighting how FGM is a persistent violation also in other regions of the world, and not only within immigrant communities, as evidenced by the universal mobilisation that led to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 67/146 banning FGM worldwide.

The conference will be live streamed on Radio Radicale:  https://www.radioradicale.it/eventi/2906

Audio-video recordings of the Conference by Radio Radicale:


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