Sunday, 4 October 2015

Female Genital Mutilation and Women Rights

Every 10 seconds, somewhere in the world, a little girl is a victim of genital mutilation. Three million girls are excised every year. Together we have to be able to put an end to this human tragedy. Excision is a matter of universal concern. The issue of female genital mutilation has been on the agenda of organizations for many years.

Despite the fact that FGM causes pain and suffering to millions of women and girls and can be life-threatening, it remains deeply entrenched in certain social value systems. Changing this reality to bring about positive and protective social behaviour requires a holistic and integrated approach with harmonized programmes of action to achieve the common goal of Zero Tolerance to FGM.

To combat FGM, a synergy among international organizations, political and religious leaders, the media, civil society and the medical corps is absolutely necessary for the goal of abandoning this practice within a generation to become reality.

The international community has long expressed its rejection of this extreme manifestation of gender inequality, notably through international instruments, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and regional instruments, such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Its Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Only a strong and international alliance will enable us to put an end without delay to such practices

One of the most important elements of international human rights law is that the State and only the State has responsibility for upholding those rights. It is not left to individuals. What the State must do is ensure that through its actions it prevents individuals from committing human rights violations. It is one of the most fundamental precepts of international law.

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