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FGM as a human rights violation

Reader comment on item: Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Laws and Policies Worldwide

Submitted by maxamed xaashi Dhoorre ceyr Habaraji (Kenya), Apr 3, 2010 at 01:41

  • Every day, thousands of girls are targeted for mutilation. FGM involves the deliberate infliction of severe pain and suffering and its effects can be life threatening. FGM is often perpetrated on girls from birth to adolescence and is a grave violation of Children's Human Rights. Most survivors must face physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives. Violence against women and girls in the home or in the community is regarded as a "private" issue; the fact that perpetrators are private actors rather than state officials has often precluded FGM from being seen as a human rights concern.
  • FGM is a manifestation of gender-based human rights violations that exist in all cultures that aim to control women's sexuality and autonomy. Though striking because of its severity and scale, FGM cannot be viewed in isolation. Recognizing that FGM is one of many forms of social injustice that women suffer worldwide is key to creating societies in which women are valued as full and equal participants.
  • A human rights perspective sets FGM in the context of women's social and economic powerlessness. Recognizing that civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights are indivisible and interdependent is a crucial starting point for addressing the range of factors that perpetuate FGM. A human rights framework affirms that the rights of women to physical and mental integrity, to freedom from discrimination and to the highest standard of health are universal. Violations of these rights can never be justified.
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