T0day, 6 February, is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and a day to celebrate the progress made to end its practice worldwide.
Last year Prime Minister Gillard announced a National Summit and Legal Review as part of the Federal Government’s response to addressing FGM following police in NSW charging 8 people following the mutilation of two girls in Sydney and Wollongong and a Perth couple being charged in September after taking their daughter to Bali for a traditional cutting ceremony.
All Australian states and territories have already enacted legislation making FGM a criminal offence, with penalties in some states of up to 20 years imprisonment.
In December 2012 the United Nations General Assembly accepted its first resolution on the elimination of FGM urging member states to take the necessary measures to protect women and girls from this harmful practice.
AWAVA will be developing a position paper and will be consulting widely with experts in the health professional field and service providers that have focussed on this issue over more than a decade. If you would like to contribute to the position paper email AWAVA’s Program Manager.