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IRELAND: 'Women Should Be Safe From Female Genital Mutilation' - Burke

Fine Gael MEP Colm Burke has said Ireland needs to introduce legislation to criminalise the practice of female genital mutilation.

Speaking in advance of International Women's Day Mr Burke said: "Women should be safe from female genital mutilation (FGM), and measures need to be put in place to address the needs of women and girls who are at risk."

Burke recognised Ireland's recent commitment - as one of 15 EU Member States - to launch a national action plan on FGM.

"It is estimated that more than 2,500 women living in Ireland have undergone FGM. The Irish plan highlights the risks FGM poses to women and girls, both in Ireland and internationally, and sets out policy goals to address its detrimental effects.

"The enactment of a law to place an outright ban on FGM is critical to the elimination of this damaging practice in Ireland. Such a law would send out a clear signal to potential practitioners of this tradition that FGM is wholly unacceptable in Irish society.

"FGM is a harmful practice that violates the rights of women and girls, infringes upon children's rights to special protection and has serious social, health and psychological consequences," said Burke.

The European Parliament will vote on a report on combating female genital mutilation in the EU  on Thursday next.

SOURCE: Wateford Today

URL: Click here

DATE: 16/03/2009

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