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African Countries Call For UN Ban On Female Genital Mutilation

Lawmakers from 27 African countries ended a two-day conference in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on Tuesday, where they pushed for a United Nations ban on female genital mutilation, or FGM. Parliamentarians, civil society activists and government representatives called for the adoption of a resolution that explicitly bans FGM as a practice that is contrary to human rights.

The Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Female Genital Mutilation aimed to help put together legal mechanisms for the eradication of FGM in Africa.

Most countries in Africa have signed treaties and conventions on FGM, but they failed to implement or enforce those laws.

During this week's two-day conference, parliamentarians from across the continent discussed and shared common information about international and national legislation regarding FGM, and how to solidify and enforce them.

Also present at the conference were lawmakers from the European Union, one of the biggest partners of African countries and groups fighting for the eradication of FGM.

"Human rights and women's rights have no boundaries," said Emma Bonino, a Vice President of the Italian Senate and former EU Commissioner for Health.

"This is a tradition that has been globalised [...] so I think that implies a sense of responsibility, both from north and south. Simply, this is a universal issue."

The campaign against FGM is still seen in many African societies as an attack by the Western world on African cultural values.

It will certainly take a long time, and a tough fight, before the practice is eradicated on the continent.

SOURCE: rfi

AUTHOR: Sheriff Bojang jr

URL: Click here

DATE: 12/05/2010

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