Sierra Leone must protect the rights of women and girls - Equality Now joint submission to UN Universal Periodic Review 38th Session April 2021
This submission outlines the gaps in the protection of the rights of women and girls in Sierra Leone with regard to sexual violence, harmful practices, legal equality and human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Every October 11th, the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. Whilst it is a day to celebrate global progress in protecting and promoting girls’ rights, this year, against the backdrop of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear to see how much work we have still to do. With recent projections from UNFPA/UNICEF showing that the impact of COVID-19 could potentially result in an additional 13 million child marriages taking place between 2020 and 2030 that could otherwise have been averted.
In its 44th session, the UN Human Rights Council has passed a strong resolution on the ‘Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation’ (FGM). Submitted by Burkina Faso on behalf of the group of African States, the resolution calls upon all governments to take “comprehensive, multisectoral and rights-based measures to prevent and eliminate female genital mutilation”.
A webinar from EqualityNow on Ending FGM: From Global To Local, examining the obstacles that make it difficult for states to achieve SDG 5.3 at the national level and how countries can use legal and advocacy pathways to eliminate FGM by 2030.
Equality Now welcomes the comprehensive and timely report by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) declaring Mali’s failure to criminalize Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The report also notes the resultant impunity, which denies women and girls legal protection from FGM as a violation of their fundamental rights.
We need a strong inclusive women’s movement that acknowledges that we are complex and diverse beings, that we won’t always agree on the approach but that we always need to engage with integrity and respect while trying to avoid the patriarchal snares that seek to divide us.
Female genital mutilation is a global problem and one which requires global action to end it. Research on the existence and prevalence of the practice is critical to the efforts to eradicate the practice. Laws criminalizing FGM provide a cornerstone for national efforts to end the practice. We’ve rounded up significant developments in laws and available data to end FGM over the last few months.
FGM/C: A Call For A Global Response shines a spotlight on the presence of FGM/C in over 90 countries around the world. This webinar highlighted the key findings of the report as well as survivor perspectives and feedback from key UN agencies.