FGM

Tanzania: Enforcement of the Law Against Female Genital Mutilation

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2006 Apr 1

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been prohibited by law in Tanzania since 1998, but the law has not been effectively enforced.  In June 2001, Equality Now issued a Women’s Action urging the government of Tanzania to take more effective action to end the practice of FGM, through education and enforcement of the law.  The Women’s Action highlighted the case of three girls aged 13 and 14 who fled to a local church for protection against FGM.  Instead of assisting Pastor Zakayo of the church, who brought the girls to the police, the police arrest

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the authorities listed below.  Congratulate them on the efforts made to train police on the law against FGM and the measures already taken to ensure the police carry out the law.  Note that the timely intervention of the police in some cases has saved girls from the harmful practice of FGM.  Urge the government to continue its efforts to end the practice of FGM through education as well as enforcement of the law and to bring disciplinary action against police officers and court officials who fail to implement the law appropriately.  Letters should be addressed to:

Mr. Saidi Mwema
Inspector General of Police
PO Box 9492
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-213-6556

Honorable Mary Nagu
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 9050
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-211-3236

Please send copies of letters with a request for support to:

Honorable Sophia Simba
Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children's Affairs
PO Box 3448
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-213-3647

Tanzania: Failing to Enforce the Law Against Female Genital Mutilation

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2001 Jun 1

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision, is prohibited by law in Tanzania. The law is not effectively enforced, however, and the practice of FGM continues openly. In some parts of Tanzania, mass circumcisions are carried out in which thousands of girls are genitally cut at the same time, generally in December. In December 1996, according to reports, of the 5,000 girls who were cut in one such ceremony, twenty girls died from medical complications.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the following authorities and urge them take more effective action to end the practice of FGM in Tanzania - through education as well as enforcement of the law. Note the open defiance with which FGM continues and the general failure of affected populations to respect the law prohibiting FGM. Note the incident in which the police in Matombo apparently failed to offer effective protection to girls seeking refuge from the practice, and request the authorities to investigate and bring appropriate disciplinary action against the policemen involved in this incident. Urge them also to issue formal instructions to police nationwide to enforce the law against FGM and protect girls from its violation. Appeals should be addressed to:

Mr. Omar Mahita
Inspector General of Police
PO Box 9492
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: 255-22-211-1090

Honorable H. Bakari Mwatachu
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
P O Box 9050
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: 255-22-211-3236

The Gambia: Government Rescinds Censorship Policy on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1997 Dec 1

 

  The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices

P.O. Box 2990, Serrekunda, The Gambia    

6 November 1997.

The Gambia: Government Censorship of the Campaign to Stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1997 Jul 1

On 17 May 1997, the Gambia Telecommunications (GAMTEL) Director of Broadcasting Services announced a new policy on media treatment of the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) as follows:

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Managing Director of GAMTEL. Note the harmful effects of FGM and urge him to rescind the directive barring use of Radio Gambia and Gambia Television to combat the practice. Please also write to the President of The Gambia. Urge him to intervene and take immediate action to ensure that broadcast media can be used to inform the public about the harmful effects of FGM and to promote its eradication. Note that The Gambia has an obligation under international law to take measures to eliminate harmful practices against children. Recall the recent WHO initiative against FGM and note the inconsistency of the GAMTEL policy with this important collective African effort, in which The Gambia played a leading role. Appeals can also be addressed to the Gambian Ambassador to your country.

President Yaya A.J.J. Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia
Banjul, The Gambia
Telex: 2240

Mr. Bakary Njie
Managing Director of GAMTEL
Banjul, The Gambia
Fax: 220-226699

United States: Political Asylum for Fear of Female Genital Mutilation—The Kasinga Case

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1996 Jun 1

On 13 June 1996, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordered that Fauziya Kasinga be granted political asylum. The majority decision, written by Paul W. Schmidt, Chairman of the BIA, made the following seven major findings in the case:

What You Can Do: 

Write to Board of Immigration Appeals Chairman Paul W. Schmidt, thanking him for his decision, which finally brings justice to Fauziya Kasinga and which recognizes that FGM does constitute persecution.

Paul W. Schmidt, Chairman
U.S. Department of Justice
Board of Immigration Appeals
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
USA

United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum—The Case of Fauziya Kasinga

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1996 Apr 1

On 24 April 1996 Fauziya Kasinga was released on parole pending her appeal. Please continue to call on U.S. authorities to grant her political asylum.

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Room 4400
Tenth and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-4371

The Honorable Doris Meissner
Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Room 7100
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum—The Case of Fauziya Kasinga

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1996 Apr 1

Fauziya Kasinga has been in detention since 17 December 1994, the day she arrived in the United States seeking political asylum. She was seventeen years old, and had fled her home country of Togo immediately following a forced marriage to a 45-year-old man with three other wives. Although Fauziya refused to sign the marriage certificate, she was declared wed and confined to a storage room to await the arrival of a circumciser who would subject her to female genital mutilation (FGM).

What You Can Do: 

Write to Attorney General Janet Reno and to INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, calling for the release of Fauziya Kasinga and for reissuance of the May 1995 guidelines by the INS as regulations that would be binding both on asylum officers and immigration judges. Recall that at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on behalf of the United States, affirmed that "it is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation."

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Room 4400
Tenth and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-4371

The Honorable Doris Meissner
Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Room 7100
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

Egypt: Highest Court Upholds Minister's Ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1998 Feb 1

On 28 December 1997, the highest Egyptian administrative court overturned a lower court ruling which had struck down a government directive banning the practice by health workers of female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision (FC). The ban was instituted in July 1996 by Health Minister Ismail Sallam and subsequently challenged in court by a group of plaintiffs including several doctors and Islamist leaders who advocate the practice of FGM.

What You Can Do: 

No further action is necessary, but you may wish to send a letter of congratulations to the Minister of Health on the court decision upholding his ban on FGM. Thank him for his efforts to stop the practice of FGM in Egypt and urge him to continue his collaboration with the FGM Task Force, to ensure enforcement of the ban and promotion of public awareness of the harmful effects of FGM. Letters should be addressed to:

His Excellency Dr. Ismail Sallam
Minister of Health
Magles El Shaab Street
Cairo, Egypt

Egypt: Court Asserts Doctors' Right to Perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1997 Jul 1

On 24 June 1997, an Egyptian court overturned a government directive banning the practice by health workers of female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision. The ban was instituted in July 1996 by Health Minister Ismail Sallam.

What You Can Do: 

Contact doctors and medical associations in your community and inform them of the recent court decision in Egypt asserting a doctor's right to perform FGM. Ask them to adopt and send organizational resolutions and to write letters to the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, the professional association in Egypt which licenses doctors to practice medicine. Call on the Egyptian Medical Syndicate to clarify publicly and to all doctors in Egypt that professional ethics prohibit the performance of FGM as a dangerous practice which serves no medical purpose and causes great harm. Cite the World Health Organization's opposition to FGM as well as the Hippocratic Oath which requires that doctors do no harm. Please also write to the Minister of Health and express support for his timely action to appeal the court decision and to ensure that FGM is not performed in hospitals pending the appeal. Letters should be addressed to:

Professor Hamdey El-Sayed, President
Egyptian Medical Syndicate (Dar Al Hekma)
Kaser Al Eini Street
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: 202-356-2751/ Tel: 202-354-0738

His Excellency Dr. Ismail Sallam
Minister of Health
Magles El Shaab Street
Cairo, Egypt

Egypt: Government Revokes Directive that Medicalized Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1995 Dec 1

On 17 October 1995, the Egyptian Minister of Health revoked the directive he had issued in October 1994 which medicalized female genital mutilation (FGM). The 1994 directive had permitted hospitals in Egypt to perform the operation for a fee of LE10 (approximately US $3). In revoking the directive, the Minister of Health, Ali Abdel Fattah, made reference to the physical and psychological harm caused by FGM.

What You Can Do: 

Write to the Minister of Health welcoming his revocation of the October 1994 decree which had medicalized female genital mutilation. Express concern over the harmful physical and psychological consequences of FGM in Egypt and urge him to honor the pledge he made at the UN ICPD conference to ban female genital mutilation and to take legal action against those who perform it. Thank him for responding to previous letters, and encourage him to continue the dialogue on this important issue and to support non-governmental organizations in Egypt working for the eradication of FGM. Letters should be addressed to:

His Excellency Dr. Ali Abdel Fattah
Minister of Health
Ministry of Health
Magles El Shaab Street
Cairo, Egypt

Syndicate content