By February 8, 2011 Read More →

International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM 2011

As we mark the seventh International Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Day this year, the Steering Committee of Ireland’s National Plan of Action to Address FGM reiterates its call to ensure that Ireland continues to prioritise reform in domestic policy and practice in line with the National Plan of Action.

The Steering Committee today reiterates its’ concern over Ireland’s slow progress in the implementation of the recommendations outlined within the National Plan, particularly in light of an increase in the number of women who have experienced FGM living in Ireland, which reflects the increase in size of the vulnerable populations in the country. The Steering Committee hereby highlights the urgency of progress required, in line with those recommendations.

Research undertaken by AkiDwA in September 2010 found that the estimated number of women with FGM living in Ireland from has increased from 2,585 to 3,170 within the last three years.

The National Steering Committee on FGM welcomes recent legislative progress. The Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill 2010 was introduced to the Dáil on January 18th, 2011. However, with the suspension of the Dáil for the upcoming General Election the Bill did not pass through the Houses of the Oireachtas and into the statute book.

On the 31st January, 2011 the National Steering Committee on FGM wrote to all political parties contesting the forthcoming General Election asking for:

“strong worded, and public, commitments to ensure that legislation on the practice of FGM will be at the top of their policy agenda, will form part of their election manifesto and any subsequent programme for Government in which they assume responsibility.

“… that your party declare now, that if you are to form part of the new Government, that the explicit criminalisation of FGM will be accorded the appropriate priority within that Government’s Programme.”

Female Genital Mutilation is a gross violation of human rights that denies women and girls their rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom from violence, the highest attainable standards of health, freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatments and discrimination on the basis of sex.  As such, the reform laid out within the National Plan of Action to Address Female Genital Mutilation is a women’s and children’s rights imperative, that must be upheld.

Salome Mbugua CEO of AkiDwA says: “Many children are still open to enduring FGM, the legislation would be an excellent way of enhancing our work in AkiDwA on this area, it gives a clear message that this practice is not acceptable either in or outside Ireland.

Ireland’s National Plan of Action to Address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was launched on the 25th November 2008 by;


AkiDwA,  Amnesty International (Irish Section), Bernardos, Cairde, Integration  Centre, Irish Family Planning Association, Irish Aid, Refugee Information Service, National Women’s Council of Ireland,  Somali Community Ireland, Somali Community in Ireland, Women’s Health Council, UNICEF Ireland

Ireland’s National Action Plan Key Goals:

  • Prevent the practice of FGM in Ireland.
  • Provide high quality, appropriate health care and support for women and girls who have undergone FGM.
  • Contribute to the worldwide campaign to end FGM.

A copy of Ireland’s National Action Plan is available at

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital

The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) each year raises awareness about this practice. Female genital mutilation of any type is recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women. Female genital mutilation refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Female genital mutilation has no known health benefits. On the contrary, it is associated with a series of short and long-term risks to both physical, mental and sexual health and well-being.

Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

According to the  World Health Organisation (WHO) FGM is affecting about 140 million girls and women, and more than 3 million girls are at risk every year.

In today’s Irish Times

Posted in: Women's Health

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