Government to Ban Female Genital Mutilation
September 3, 2003
Posted to the web September 3, 2003
Sudan, which has the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the world, has made a commitment to ban the practice.
At the end of a regional three-day symposium held last week in Khartoum, Health Minister Ahmed Osman Bilal expressed his government's commitment to eradicate FGM at all levels, according to a summary of proceedings provided by UNICEF.
He said the government would produce a legislative framework banning the practice, which would be supported by a public statement by the president of Sudan, and accompanied and followed up by educational and awareness programmes.
On Monday, Sudanese newspapers reported that the national Human Rights Advisory Council said it would also support the drafting of a specific law to criminalise FGM.
Almost 90 percent of the female population in the north of the country undergo "the cut", which in many cases is practised in its most extreme form, known as infibulation.
The minister stated that FGM was now considered a prohibited act for all medical practitioners. He endorsed a recommendation to widely publicise and implement the ban, and introduce stiff penalties for those who continue to perform the operations.
Bilal added that FGM had no religious basis and said religious leaders would be involved in educating people.
Speaking at the close of the symposium, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, said FGM was "a clear indicator of Sudanese society's broad condoning of gender inequality, violence against women and children, and the violation of women's reproductive and health rights, as well as children's rights".
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml