Khady at the UN for a World Wide Ban against FGM

Khady’s Blood Stains. A Child of Africa Reclaims Her Human Rights opens and closes at the United Nations where Khady is involved in orchestrating a movement urging the General Assembly to vote on a proposal for a WorldWide Ban on FGM. See

Below you will find excerpts from a text that was submitted during the Fifty-fifth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (22.2 – 4.3.2011) to the Secretary-General “in accordance with paragraphs 36 and 37 of Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.” I offer them here because they express the position of UnCUT/VOICES Press and our authors on the issue and especially since our first writer, Khady, is part of the team that is seeing this project through.

“Female Genital Mutilation is one of the most widespread and systematic violations of the universal human right to personal integrity, committed against millions of women and girls worldwide, … damaging their lives irreversibly. … The development of political will at the highest levels, encouraged by and in turn encouraging action at the grassroots levels, is one of the most important achievements of the past decade for the fight against FGM. The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, together with No Peace Without Justice, the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices, the European Network for the Prevention and Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices and La Palabra have been engaged in an International Campaign for a world-wide ban on Female Genital Mutilation by the United Nations. …

This is why a United Nations General Assembly Resolution is so important: it recognises once and for all that FGM is a human rights violation; acknowledges its gravity and effect on the lives of millions of people; and demonstrates … commitment and political will at the highest levels to ban it. It reinforces the importance of previous UN declarations … and mirrors important steps already taken at the regional level. The African Union, for example, has voiced its commitment to [eliminate] FGM in the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which requires member States to adopt all [needed] political and legislative measures. … Furthermore, it encourages the speedy ratification and implementation of international and regional conventions, such as the Maputo Protocol. … Action by the UN General Assembly steps up and signals the international community’s universal condemnation … with important implications worldwide. Critically, it contributes significantly to a global change in the perception of FGM as a clear human rights violation … instead of masking it merely as a cultural, religious or public health issue. All of these characterisations, which were effectively euphemisms that had shielded decision-makers from the need to take action, were common parlance in the past. A UNGA Resolution … strengthen[s] … a political and social environment that challenges attitudes and behaviours on FGM and facilitates its elimination. It does so by recognising FGM for what it is, a form of sexual violence against children and women, and helping to shift the discourse, and the required response, accordingly.”

Statement submitted by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, a non-governmental organization in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.


2 responses to “Khady at the UN for a World Wide Ban against FGM

  1. As a former student of Tobe’s, reading Khady’s memoir gave me better reason to whole-heartedly support the conquest against human rights violations, especially ones like FGM. Khady’s lifelong tale of the rampant sexism and domestic abuse that occurs throughout cultural traditions, spreading from Africa to Paris, France, is one to leave a powerful impression on any reader who desires human justice in the world. Any first-world person may find this fact hard to come to terms with this endemic tragedy that happens to young girls, cutting unnecessary psychological scars, but it is a cause worth fighting to remedy. I am glad this issue was brought to my attention.

  2. Way to go Khady and Tobe. You are great, both of you. Jane Roberts

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