I never thought I’d be using something called the Feminist Daily News as a source, because I’ve never considered myself a feminist. That is, not until I began learning about the treatment of Muslim women. They have something to complain about and I’ll stand up for their rights any time.
But on the whole, American feminists have been relatively silent about their Muslim sisters. So I’m happy to tell you that the Feminist Daily News is taking an interest and reports:
The United Nations launched a program earlier this month to combat the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to Inter Press Service(IPS), UNFPA and UNICEF have created a $44 million dollar program that plans to reduce FGM by 40 percent.
They don’t mention the word “Muslim,” although female genital mutilation is almost wholly a Muslim phenomenon. Instead they talk about geographical locations and “immigrant communities.” What, are English expatriates doing this? I don’t think so.
Their source article is more informative, but doesn’t mention the word “Muslim” either. It tells us:
After nearly 30 years of intense campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM), the United Nations says that several countries, including Canada, Belgium, Spain and Italy, have passed legislation criminalising the practice, prevalent mostly among immigrant communities.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated between 100 and 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of FGM in more than 28 countries, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Every year, about 3.0 million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation, the U.N. study says.
African countries are beginning to act to discourage or ban FGM.
Meanwhile, a number of African countries — including Ghana, Uganda, Morocco and Eritrea — have also criminalised FGM in their penal codes or through other laws.
While there is no federal law banning FGM in Nigeria, according to the U.N. report, 11 states have adopted legislation against some “harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation.”
Egypt and Yemen have also taken steps to curb the practice within their health-care systems banning health-care professionals from performing it.
There are a number of programs using education and legal means to discourage female genital mutilation. Muslim women are working with women in their own communities to stop the practice. And the rate is declining, but not quickly enough for those working in the field. At a time when so many things in the world seem to be going badly, it is good to read about a trend that is at least going in the right direction.