Female Genital Mutilation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws & Policies

Front Cover
This is the most extensive report currently available on the use of law and policy to address the practice of female circumcision/female genital mutilation (FC/FGM). In encouraging a proactive governmental response to the practice, the book places it firmly in a human rights and legal framework. The result of a major research report in 41 countries, both North and South, it covers not only the prevalence of FC/FGM but the various laws and other measures in place to prevent it.

The book describes FC/FGM, its history, its consequences for health and the movement now working to combat it. It then reports on each country - its prevalence and governmental measures for its eradication.

FC/FGM is not exclusively a concern of African governments. Countries of the North have also adopted legal measures aimed at preventing the practice. These measures, however, are clearly directed at their immigrant populations. This throws up a classic dilemma of human rights work: whether or not to fight for rights that are seen as universal and fundamental - in this case the bodily integrity of women - when it means overriding the cultural beliefs of individuals, or minority groups.

Finding a solution to this problem is the second aim of this book. The authors suggest an answer through the actual implementation of human rights treaties. They look at how FC/FGM violates these rights for women: specifically freedom from gender discrimination and violence, the right to health and the rights of children.

The last section of the book makes recommendations for action by governments, the international community, and non-governmental organizations.
 

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Contents

Background and History
3
Duties of Governments Under Human Rights Law
44
Recommendations for Governments
56
Legal and Policy Strategies for NGOs with a Brief Review of Existing Approaches
73
Review of Programmatic Approaches
76
Strategies
79
Conclusion
89
REFERENCE
93
Germany
159
Ghana
164
Guinea
167
GuineaBissau
170
Italy
172
Kenya
175
Liberia
178
Mali
180

Nationallevel Legal Measures
95
Treaty ratification by country
100
Prevalence rates and official action against FCFGM
101
Australia
102
Belgium
107
Benin
111
Burkina Faso
114
Cameroon
117
Canada
120
Central African Republic
124
Chad
127
Cote dlvoire
130
Democratic Republic of Congo
133
Denmark
135
Djibouti
138
Egypt
140
Eritrea
144
Ethiopia
147
France
151
The Gambia
155
Mauritania
183
The Netherlands
186
New Zealand
190
Niger
196
Nigeria
199
Norway
203
Senegal
206
Sierra Leone
209
Somalia
212
Sudan
215
Sweden
218
Tanzania
222
Togo
225
Uganda
228
United Kingdom
231
United States
236
Select Bibliography
242
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Anika Rahman is the director of the International Program of The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP). Nahid Toubia is currently an associate professor at Columbia University School of Public Health and director of Research Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO).

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