Archive for February 7th, 2015

07/02/2015

World Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Human Wrongs Watch

On the International Day , marked every year on 6 February, and this year focused on ending the ‘medicalization’ of the procedure, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on health workers around the world to eliminate what he called a ‘deeply harmful’ practice. 

No To FGM is the message greeting visitors of the Islamic Gathering Association, an NGO in Siflaq, Sohag Governorate, Upper Egypt. The UNFPA-supported NGO provides counselling to the residents of Siflaq and the surrounding villages, both Muslim and Christians, on the detrimental effects of FGM. Photo: Omar Gharzeddine/UNFPA

“Change is coming from within the communities. Breaking the silence and disproving the myths around female genital mutilation are the first steps along the way to eliminating it altogether,” said Ban in his message on the Day.*

“If everyone mobilized – women, men and young people – it is possible, in this generation, to end a practice that currently affects some 130 million girls and women in 29 countries where we have data,” said Ban. “I call for all people to end FGM and create the future we want where every girl can grow up free of violence and discrimination, with full dignity, human rights and equality.”

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07/02/2015

‘I’m not whole’ – Female Genital Mutilation Survivor Speaks Out

Human Wrongs Watch

6 February 2015 – Jaha was just a week old when she was infibulated. Infibulation, or type 3 female genital mutilation (FGM), entails narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.

Jaha Dukureh, activist and FGM survivor speaks to journalists at a press conference on Engaging Health Workers to End Female Genital Mutilation. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Born in The Gambia and sent to the United States at 15 for an arranged marriage, Jaha Dukureh was too young to remember her FGM procedure but she has never been able to shake the feeling that something is not quite right.*

“I’m not whole. I’m not intact. Something was taken away from me,” she says.

 

Jaha was at the United Nations this week to share her story on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Marked every year on 6 February, the Day aims to raise awareness of the risks of FGM, with this year’s theme focused on urging health workers to mobilize against the “medicalization” of the deeply harmful practice.

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07/02/2015

Over a Million May Already Be Displaced by Eastern Ukraine Violence – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Nearly 1 million people may have now been displaced by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with the recent upsurge in violence causing massive destruction of buildings and infrastructure, the collapse of basic services and a spike in the numbers fleeing fighting, the United Nations refugee agency on 6 February 2015  reported.

A young displaced Ukrainian boy finds shelter from the cold in a tent in Slovyansk. His family hope to move to Kyiv after leaving the conflict-torn town of Debaltseve. Photo: UNHCR/B. Kinashchuk

“As more homes and other civilian infrastructure is damaged or destroyed, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expects more people to be displaced to areas in central, southern and western Ukraine under the control of the Ukrainian Government, but also to non-government controlled areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” said spokesperson Adrian Edwards.

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