By MARIELA GOVEA*,29 November 2012 – United Nations Member States have approved the first resolution focused at ending the practice of female genital mutilation, in a move impulsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It is a big step towards protecting millions of women and girls all around the world from this cruent and innecessary practice that violates human rights.
The Assembly urge States to take all kinds of measures – including legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation – to both protect women and girls and end impunity for this harmful and unjustified practice.
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) refers to several and different practices involving the cutting of the female genitals for non-medical reasons. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
Speaking at a special event at UN Headquarters to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr. Ban applauded the Third Committee for passing its first-ever resolution on ending female genital mutilation.
“I look forward to the Assembly’s adoption of this resolution, which would mark a major step forward in protecting women and girls and ending impunity for this practice,” Mr. Ban declared.
Among other provisions, the text would also have the Assembly designate 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
According to a recent survey, during the past three years, 8,000 communities across the world, including 15 African countries, have abandoned the practice, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Last year alone 2,000 communities declared that they will no longer allow the human rights violation to continue. Also known as “female circumcision”, Besides being clearly a violation of human rights,- it is a very severe way of discrimination of women- there is also another secret reason: it imight have been designed to stop woman having pleasure during intercourse.According to the World Health Organisation, female genital mutilation exposes millions of girls to inections, hemorrhaging, complicated child –birth and even hepatitis from unsterilised tools.
In the middle East it is still practiced in countries such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. In India and in Pakistan, still, a small muslim subd sect , the Dawoodi Bohra still believes the removal of the clitoris is the will of God.and practices it in secret.
According to Worlld Health Organization, female genital mutilation has no known health benefits at all.
.On the contrary it is very painful and traumatic. Moreover, the removal of the tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and causes severe inmediate and long term consequences. For instance, babies whose mothers suffered this cruent practice suffer a higher rate of neonatal death., and a quarter of the babies newly born have low weight at birth and might suffer infections and also there is an increased risk of perintal death.
Also, the practice violates the rights to health, security and physical integrity of the person, and the right to be free from torture and also, the right to life , when the procedure ends in death.
Mariela Govea is President at Círculo Latinoamericano de Sexualidad Femenina. She is Sexologist, Tantra Master, Psychoanalist and Psychologist. Columnist and writer, she is vegetarian, budhist and hinduist.