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International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

Date: Thursday 6th February , 2014,    Venue: Irish Aid Information and Volunteering Centre, 27 – 31 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

International Women's Day

15th March 2014, to mark International Women's Day AkiDwA will hold a Conference GO to VOTE - Mobilising the Community to Vote, ReadMore

Press Release for FGM Bill

Migrant Women Welcome Passing of Bill on Female Genital Mutilation

AkiDwA, the network of African and migrant women in Ireland, has welcomed the passing of the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill by the Oireachtas today (28.03.12).

Speaking following the passing of the Bill, the Chief Executive of AkiDwA, Salome Mbugua said: “AkiDwA has campaigned tirelessly to end the cruel and out-dated practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) since our inception in 2001.  The passing of this Bill is a huge victory for AkiDwA, and FGM campaigners everywhere.

“As we approach the summer months, we know that people in Europe are making plans to transport girls back to their country of origin for FGM.  The passing of the Bill today sends a clear message to parents and guardians that FGM will not be tolerated in Europe, and in Ireland in particular. Moreover, the new legislation arising from the Bill will have extra-territorial effect.  This represents a vital protection for women and girls living in Ireland, but who could be transported out of the country for FGM,” she said.

It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 women and girls living in Ireland who have undergone FGM. Most are from Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Ms Mbugua said that Ireland had set a very good example in Europe and beyond in legislating to protect girls and women. “Not only do today’s developments bring Ireland in line with international best-practice in terms of protecting women and girls, it also puts Ireland out there in Europe – and beyond – as a leader in the campaign against FGM.

“Those associated with bringing forward this Bill, and indeed supporting its provisions throughout all stages in the Dáil and Seanad have to be congratulated,” she said.  Ms Mbugua paid particular tribute to Senator Ivana Bacik who initiated the Bill in the Seanad.

Speaking after the passing of the Bill by the Seanad today, Senator Bacik said: “I am really delighted that the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill has finally passed through both houses of the Oireachtas, and I am very proud to have played a part in its passage. This Bill started life as a private members bill that I introduced in the Seanad, and which achieved cross-party support. In particular, there is immense support for the new offences created in the Bill, which I hope will help to deter or prevent the horrific practice of female genital mutilation being performed on any children or women resident in Ireland, and which will also criminalise anyone who seeks to take a child or woman out of Ireland to have FGM performed elsewhere.”

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