Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Equality? ‘Real Muslim women in Mali don’t want it – it’s un-Islamic!’

How does one tackle this problem? A law is voted to protect women and the response is:

"We have to stick to the Koran. A man must protect his wife, a wife must obey her husband. It’s a tiny minority of women here that wants this new law – the intellectuals. The poor and illiterate women of this country – the real Muslims – are against it."


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good example in Kenya

Women educating their daughters is the way to go.

"The village women support themselves through the sale of their jewelry, as well as collectively-owned livestock. With training from Vital Voices, the women of Umoja Uaso are also challenging the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and educating their daughters - a rarity in the Samburu culture. "


Men? No thank you.

One can wonder if this is the solution.

"The village, based 350 kilometers west of the capital of Nairobi, was started by a group of 14 women who decided to escape the dominance of men and live according to their own rules, Germany's Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) reported on Wednesday.

Called Umoja, or unity in Swahili, the village has become a safe-haven for women escaping arranged marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) or rape and abuse."

Laws must be linked to cultural practices

The "International Federation of Women Lawyers" (FIDA) in Ghana wants to link cultural practices to the country's legal framework.

"Mrs Dadzie said even though Ghana was a signatory to most international charters and treaties on human rights, it was difficult to strictly implement them since their implementations had been seen as an abuse of some traditional and cultural practices in the country."


Saturday, August 15, 2009


WADI has devoted much of its efforts to one particular issue: female genital mutilation.

"As the first organization in Iraqi Kurdistan to open a women’s shelter, WADI is an authority on women’s issues in the region, an area of great concern to any activist or observer concerned with true democratization and respect for human rights."


Jimmy Carter did it.

The former president of the United States Jimmy Carter has announced that he is leaving the "Southern Baptist Church" and this after sixty years because of its treatment of girls and women.

"At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities."

"The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. "


Friday, August 14, 2009

First arrest in Egypt

"An Egyptian man has been charged with illegally circumcising a young girl on Thursday, making him the first person to face the law since Cairo criminalized the controversial practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM."


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Female genital cutting raises childbirth risks

"In the new study, doctors at the University of Berne, in Switzerland, followed 122 pregnant women with a history of genital mutilation who received prenatal care at their medical center. They compared their childbirth outcomes with 110 other women the same age who delivered at the hospital."

The rather strange part was that

"A small number of women wanted to have the vaginal opening re-stitched after giving birth -- a request they were denied because it is medically inadvisable, as well as illegal in Switzerland, the researchers note."


African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Established by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which came into force on 21 October 1986 after its adoption in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1981 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU.), the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is charged with ensuring the promotion and protection of Human and Peoples' Rights throughout the African Continent. The Commission has its headquarters in Banjul, The Gambia.

The countries have agreed as follows:

"prohibition, through legislative measures backed by sanctions, of all forms of female genital mutilation, scarification, medicalisation and para-medicalisation of female genital mutilation and all other practices in order to eradicate them; "

Hopefully this decision will be enforced.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mrs. Goundo's Daughter

A new DVD showing the fight of a mother to stay in the U.S. in order to protect her daughter against FGM.

"Mrs. Goundo is fighting to remain in the United States. But it’s not just because of the ethnic conflict and drought that has plagued her native Mali. Threatened with deportation, her two-year-old daughter could be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), like 85 percent of women and girls in Mali. Using rarely cited grounds for political asylum, Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her daughter is in danger."



This is indeed one of the biggest problems in the fight against FGM: who implements. Implementing, controlling, checking means that the implementers, controllers and checkers must have received information and training. They must be very sensistive, careful and know how to handle a case. They also need to know how to slow down and eventually eradicate this practice. But reality unfortunately tells us another story.

"Our problem is; who implements?" She said. "The police, who are supposed to be implementing it, are not even aware or sensitised. So, the practice still goes on because culture dies hard."
According to a copy of the bill passed into law in Edo State, a circumciser shall serve a six-month imprisonment or pay a fine of N1,000 or both if caught, while in Ogun State the penalty is one year imprisonment."