Towards eradicating female genital mutilation in NigeriaPosted: 3 September, 2021 Filed under: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn | Tags: abuse, abuse of women, Africa, child marriage, clitoris, cultural relativism, domestic violence, federal law, female genital mutilation, fgm, FGM/C, fistula, GBV, gender-based violence, Harmful practices, harmful traditional practices, human rights, indigenous areas, international call, maternal mortality, Nigeria, protection, psychological violence, sexual violence, socioeconomic violence, traditional circumcisers, Type II, vagina, violence, women's rights Leave a comment
Author: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn
Human Rights Lawyer and Gender equality advocate
Nigeria is home to over 180 million people, 49.4% of whom are female. Along with the rest of the population, the Nigerian female population will experience dramatic increases in size by 2050. As far as violence against women is concerned, federal law addresses sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, harmful traditional practices, and socio-economic violence. The law also cites spousal battery, forceful ejection from the home, forced financial dependence or economic abuse, harmful widowhood practices, female genital mutilation/cutting (“FGM/C”), other harmful traditional practices, substance attacks (such as acid attacks), political violence, and violence by state actors (especially government security forces) as offenses.
A 2019 survey on domestic violence found that 47% of respondents had suffered from domestic violence or knew someone who had; 82% of respondents indicated that violence against women was prevalent in the country. Police often refused to intervene in domestic disputes or blamed the victim for provoking the abuse. In rural areas, courts, and police were reluctant to intervene to protect women who formally accused their husbands of abuse if the level of alleged abuse did not exceed local customary norms.
Effectiveness of intervention measures to address female genital mutilation in Ethiopia: A discussionPosted: 14 May, 2019 Filed under: Henok Ashagrey | Tags: bodily harm, Children and Youth’s Affairs, children's rights, Constitution of Ethiopia, Criminal Code of Ethiopia, cultural practice, Ethiopia, female genital mutilation, fgm, harmful customs, Harmful practices, infibulation, Ministry of Women, North Shewa, rights of children, violations, violence against women, women's rights Leave a comment
Author: Henok Ashagrey
Legal Researcher at the Secretariat of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Despite certain signs of progress, interventions to address harmful practices in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ethiopia) are still ineffective. To be effective, these interventions require more inclusivity, stronger cooperation between levels of government, and a focus on changing societal values.
Harmful practices are a principal factor in the violations of women’s rights in Ethiopia. For example, in the North Shewa rural region in the North of Ethiopia, where I come from, harmful practices against women and girls, particularly female genital mutilation (FGM), are accepted as valid cultural practice. The practitioners of FGM justify their acts on religious and cultural grounds.
Banning female circumcision in The Gambia through legislative change: The next stepsPosted: 19 January, 2016 Filed under: Satang Nabaneh | Tags: Africa, Anti-FGM Board, Anti-FGM Prosecution Unit, Domestic Violence Act, female circumcision, female genital mutilation, fgm, harmful traditional practices, Maputo Protocol, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, right to dignity, right to health, Sexual Offences Act, The Gambia, women's rights, Women’s (Amendment) Bill 2015 2 Comments
Author: Satang Nabaneh
Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia.
There is nothing more powerful than a decision made at the right time, especially one which is a desideratum. So it was with the ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia. From the coastal village of Brufut, on the chilly night of 24 November 2015, President Jammeh declared a ban on FGM stating that it was a cultural and not a religious practice (that is not to say that the practice would have been justifiable if it was a religious practice, given its well documented harmful effects). The news was as unexpected as it was music to the ear. It was every campaigner’s wish, to see an end to FGM in The Gambia. This was swiftly followed by the passing of the Women’s (Amendment) Bill 2015 by the National Assembly on 2 December 2015 to prohibit female circumcision. The amendment addresses one of the key deficiencies of the Women’s Act 2010 which was the absence of a provision on eliminating harmful traditional practices. The Amendment Act added sections 32A and 32B in the Women’s Act. With the enactment, The Gambia joined a number of African countries in adopting legislation as a reform strategy for ending FGM.
Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in Eritrea?Posted: 6 February, 2015 Filed under: Thato Motaung | Tags: circumcision, discrimination against women and girls, eradication of fgm, Eritrea, external female genitalia, female genital mutilation, fgm, FGM/C, infubulation, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health rights, women's human rights, women's rights Leave a comment
Author: Thato Motaung
Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: 6 February 2015
February 6 – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation – is dedicated annually to making the world aware of the harmful effects of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) and to promote its eradication. FGM/C involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia; a deep form of discrimination against women and girls, it directly violates their right to health, and physical integrity. The practice is rooted in cultural and religious beliefs of communities who perceive it as a social obligation to control female sexuality and ‘preserve or protect’ a woman’s chastity.
The most common form of FGM/C in Eritrea is ‘infubulation’. During the procedure, the child’s legs and hips are tied together to limit movement – often for several weeks afterward to allow healing. The age for circumcising of a girl varies amongst cultural groups, but can range from one month old to 15 years. A traditional circumciser commonly performs the act within communities; close relatives or neighbours can also act as circumcisers.
Female genital mutilation in South AfricaPosted: 7 June, 2012 Filed under: Barbara Kitui | Tags: childbirth, female genital mutilation, fgm, girls, harmful traditional practices, initiation, legislation, muthuso, postnatal care, South Africa, WHO, women, World Health Organisation 78 Comments
Author: Barbara Kitui
LLM (Human Rights & Democartisation in Africa) student, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the cultural practises embedded amongst the Venda community of north-east of South Africa. Eight weeks or less after childbirth, Venda women undergo a traditional ceremony called muthuso. Muthuso is a process of cutting the vaginal flesh of the mother by a traditional healer. The flesh is mixed with black powder and oil and applied on the child’s head to prevent goni. Goni has been described as a swelling on the back of a child’s head. The Venda people believe that goni can only be cured using the vaginal flesh of the child’s mother. Women who experienced FGM stated that they bleed excessively after the ceremony. Moreover, the women stated that there is no postnatal care in Venda. Consequently, the women use traditional medicine and sometimes this leads to death because of substandard treatment.