IRELAND: Ireland Should Criminalise FGM

Ireland needs to introduce legislation to criminalise the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) according to the National Steering Committee on FGM.

Measures also need to be put in place to address the needs of women and girls from new communities who are at risk of FGM. Ireland was one of the 15 EU member states to launch an action plan on FGM last week.

The Irish plan highlights the risks FGM poses to women and girls, both in Ireland and internationally, and sets out policy goals to address the detrimental effects of FGM. As previously reported by IMN, more than 2,500 women in Ireland have undergone FGM.

Figures also revealed that out of the 9,624 women now residing in Ireland who originally come from countries that practice FGM, 26.9 per cent have undergone a form of female genital cutting. Ms Salome Mbugua, Nat­ional Director of AkiDwa, the African and Migrant Women’s Network of Ireland, said prog­rammes and policies need to be put in place on a national level before the consequences of FGM become too difficult to deal with.

“Critical to these strategies would be the enactment of a law to place an outright ban on FGM in Ireland,” Ms Mbugua said. “Such a law would send out a clear signal to perspective practitioners of the practice that FGM is not acceptable in Irish society.”

SOURCE: Irish Medical News

AUTHOR: Marie Feely

URL: Click here

DATE: 02/12/2008

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