This written testimony was submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety by Equality Now in support of B24-0516, the “Female Genital Mutilation Prohibition Act of 2021”.
The testimony acknowledges that although there is a federal law against FGM in the United States, it is important to have laws at the District and State levels, where health, child protection, education, law enforcement, social and other services are provided and to train first responders and service providers on the issue and on their responsibilities in
implementing the law.
This is particularly true in Washington D.C., which has the second highest rate of FGM in the United States, with estimates of more than 51,000 women who have undergone or are at-risk of FGM in the District.1 Washington D.C. along with only ten states have not adopted any specific law regulating or prohibiting FGM and could be considered a national outlier.
It is past time Washington D.C. protects women and girls from this harmful practice.