Ending Female Cutting: Cause for Celebration or Worry?

It is not often that the word “clitoris” is uttered in public forums of the United Nations. Yet participants in the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation at UN headquarters recently heard that word repeatedly, along with poignant stories of survivors of the painful, bloody and sometimes-fatal procedure at an event marking the … Read more

The Legal Push to End Genital Cutting of Girls in the US and Abroad Progresses

Almost 20 years have passed since the genital mutilation of girls has been outlawed in the United States, but the traditional practice has continued to grow ever faster in recent years with increased immigration from parts of Africa where it is most common. It is estimated that more than 500,000 girls and women in the … Read more

UN and US Congress Act to Curtail Female Cutting Globally

Young girls in Sierra Leone about to be circumcised

Only four days before Christmas, when many minds were fixated on the year-end holidays, two important steps were taken almost unnoticed to combat female genital mutilation globally, raising hopes that millions of girls might be spared the excruciatingly painful and harmful yet persistent practice. In what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “historic” UN action, the General … Read more

The UN General Assembly Takes Up a Once-Taboo Topic

Nepali woman dancing

  A growing movement within the United Nations to ban female genital mutilation globally has led to the first resolution to be written on the issue in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which will vote on the matter this month. Two Francophone countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso and Benin, have proposed the draft resolution … Read more

 

Paying Attention to the Hidden Strengths of Rural Women

commission on status of women

Rural women are worse off than their urban counterparts and their male neighbors. They are generally poorer, less educated, discriminated against and left with limited health care choices and jobs, yet they are classic behind-the scene doers, often performing most of the unpaid work at home and on farms, while producing a majority of the … Read more

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