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IRELAND: Dublin MEPs Give Their Backing To Anti-FGM Campaign

Irish candidates for this summer’s European elections are backing a campaign to end female genital mutilation in Europe, launched to mark International Women’s Day today.

Amnesty International’s campaign calls for the adoption of a definitive strategy to end the practice and to provide protection to women and girls who flee their countries for fear of being mutilated.

FGM is practised in 28 African countries and in some parts of Asia and the Middle East. The European Parliamentary Committee on Women’s Rights claims that around 500,000 women in Europe have been subjected to it. ‘‘Over 2,500 women living in Ireland have survived genital mutilation,” said Amnesty Ireland programmes director Noeleen Hartigan.

The campaign is being endorsed by all of the outgoing Dublin MEPs – Eoin Ryan (Fianna Fáil), Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael), Proinsias De Rossa (Labour) and Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin) and by Green Party European election candidate Senator Deirdre de Burca.

Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said International Women’s Day offered an opportunity to remember the women who experienced sexual violence.

The aid organisation released a report showing it provided healthcare to almost 13,000 victims of sexual violence in countries such as DR Congo, Burundi, Colombia, South Africa and Sudan. Its report, entitled Shattered Lives, emphasised the effectiveness of assault victims receiving emergency medical treatment within the first 72 hours after a sexual assault.

MSF said the emergency care needed for victims of rape was either very rare or absent in the countries where it operated.

SOURCE: The Post

AUTHOR: Susan Mitchell

URL: Click here

DATE: 13/03/2009

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