Archive for February, 2017

India’s female genital mutilation: a thousand-year-old secret

So little was known, until recently, about the secretive practice of FGM in a small  Muslim community that India is not even on the UN’s list of FGM countries.

India’s Dawoodi Bohra community has been so closeted about its practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that its recent disclosure shocked even women’s rights activists. It was the highly publicised criminal trial of the FGM of two Bohra girls in Australia, in 2010 and 2011, which shattered the secrecy around this practice.  Following investigation and trial, the mother of the girls, the midwife and a Bohra priest in Australia were sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016.

They are a Shia Muslim sect that migrated to India  from Yemen in the 12th century.  Their custom of FGM probably originated in Yemen as it’s still a widespread practice there. The Bohra population is only about one million in size, with most settled in western India, and smaller communities in other countries.


Pastor preaches against FGM, despite threats


A PASTOR in Kenya is making a stand against female genital mutilation (FGM) to protect his daughters from an “injustice that would rob them” of their human rights, education, and well-being, an anti-FGM campaigner in the country, Susan Krop, has reported.

The pastor, Emmanuel Longelech, and his three daughters, live in West Pokot, a region of Kenya where an estimated 72 per cent of girls undergo FGM — also known as female circumcision. There are no known health benefits of the procedure, which can cause severe long-term physical and mental damage.


Pakistan gets tough on child marriages

Pakistan has outlawed child marriage and toughened penalties for those guilty of the crime in an effort to crack down on the practice which is estimated to affect one in five girls in the country.

The legislation passed by the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, also bans forced marriage involving women from minority groups. Under the new law, offenders will face a minimum of five years in prison and may serve up to 10 years. They also face a fine of up to 1 million rupees (RM42,000).

Before the change in law, offenders faced a minimum of three years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rupees (RM21,000).

“The punishment has been made harsher in the law … in order to completely curb the social maladies which have risen because of the less stringent punishment and fines,” Federal Law and Human Rights minister Zahid Hamid told Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone.



The world celebrated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on Monday. It is a day meant to display our collective resistance to the crime of female genital mutilation (FGM), which is in the sixth of February every year.

The fact is that this heinous crime still assassinates the innocence of many girls, casting its long shadow over developing nations. This crime requires more than criminalisation and developed legislation.

From a historical angle, until 2007 there was no real legislation that criminalised FGM, which contributed to the dramatic spread of FGM. Some agencies have estimated that FGM rates in Egpt could be as high as 90%.


University hoping to uncover why FGM is such a big problem in Bristol Read more at

Bristol has one of the highest rates of Female Genital Mutilation in the country and university boffins are hoping to discover why.

It will look at why FGM continues to be a major problem in certain areas such as Bristol.

It comes as Avon and Someret Police lead the way in investigating the phenomenon having put ten girls on protection orders from FGM) using a new set of laws.


Why banning the term “honour” based violence and conflating it with domestic violence will put victims at increased risk

The Conservative MP for Wealden Nusrat Ghani, has proposed, in a new private members Bill – the Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence Against Women) Bill – that the use of the widely used and accepted term “honour” killing should be banned from official publications and that this form of violence against women and girls should be conflated with domestic violence. Both of these suggestions would have dangerous consequences for those at risk of “honour” based violence and lives will be put at risk.

“Honour” based violence and domestic violence are distinct forms of violence against women and girls, each with specific dynamics. Many women experience both, whilst some are at risk of “honour” based violence and not domestic violence. Each carries particular risks and requires different safeguarding approaches. These two forms of violence must not be conflated, and if they are, it is highly likely that there will be failures in safeguarding, resulting in serious harm and even “honour” killing.

FGM victims need medical attention ‘every hour’ says charity

A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is either discovered or treated at a medical appointment in England every hour, a charity has said.

Plan International UK said statistics showed there were 8,656 times when a girl or woman was assessed at a doctor’s surgery or hospital.

Charity boss Tanya Barron said: “These figures are once again a reminder of the global prevalence of FGM.”

An estimated 200 million women and girls worldwide are affected.

The NHS figures analysed were between April 2015 and March 2016. They show a patient was assessed on average every 61 minutes. Among those who attended, a case of FGM is newly recorded every 92 minutes on average.

Anti-FGM campaign launched in UK to mark global day of opposition

Red Triangle initiative aims to encourage people to give police information to detect and prevent female genital mutilation

Commander Mak Chishty, the police national lead on “honour”-based violence, has written to every police force in the country reminding them that while progress has been made, there is yet to be a successful prosecution for FGM.

His letter also cited a prevalence study published in July 2015 by City University and Equality Now, the human rights group, which showed that no local authority in the UK was unaffected by FGM.


Babies targeted as FGM victims get younger, say campaigners

Babies are among the victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), campaigners claim, reflecting a growing trend of younger girls being targeted.

Girls were traditionally cut when they were around 10 years old, to ‘prepare them for marriage’, but are now being disfigured earlier so offenders can escape justice, say the Africa-based Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM).

The World Health Organisation defines FGM as ‘altering or causing injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons’.

Ban the term ‘honour killing’ to stop political correctness getting in the way of police investigations, MP says

The term “honour killing” should be banned because “political correctness” is putting police off investigating domestic violence, a Conservative MP has said.

Nusrat Ghani warned that police officers can be wary of intervening fully in so-called honour cases for fear of offending the community.

The MP for Wealden is proposing a Bill which will ban the term “honour killing” in official publications and strengthen the support given to women who are subjected to domestic violence and killed while abroad.

It comes after a whistleblower told the Telegraph that the Crown Prosecution Service is failing to prosecute honour crimes for fear of causing “unrest” in Asian communities.

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