UN passes first resolution on female mutilation

The UN General Assembly on Monday passed its first resolution condemning female genital mutilation, which opponents say more than 140 million women worldwide have had to endure.

Though outlawed in most nations, the measure represents the first time the traditional practice in African and Middle East nations has been denounced at such a high level in the .

More than 110 countries, including more than 50 African nations, co-sponsored the in the General Assembly's rights committee, which called on states to "complement punitive measures with awareness-raising and educational activities" to eliminate .

About 140 million women worldwide are believed to have been subjected to the practice in which a young girl's clitoris and labia are removed, in the belief that this will reduce and keep a woman chaste. About three million women and girls each year are said to be forced to undergo the procedure.

"We will continue to spare no efforts with a final objective: ending female genital mutilations in one generation. Today, this goal appears closer than ever," said Cesare Ragaglini, UN ambassador for Italy, which has played a leading role in international efforts to eradicate the practice.

He called the UN resolution a "powerful tool" against widespread resistance because it would take condemnation and calls for new measures to another level.

"It is up to us now to exploit it in a more effective way," Ragaglini said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tabooing female genital cutting

Aug 13, 2012

Female genital cutting (FGC) also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and female circumcision is widely practised in Africa. FGC, described by UNICEF as “one of the worst violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, is usually per ...

Recommended for you

Health care organizations see value of telemedicine

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Health care organizations are developing and implementing telemedicine programs, although many have yet to receive reimbursement, according to a report published by Foley & Lardner.

Before you go... are you in denial about death?

21 hours ago

For most of us, death conjures up strong feelings. We project all kinds of fears onto it. We worry about it, dismiss it, laugh it off, push it aside or don't think about it at all. Until we have to. Of course, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.