LJD Week 2021 | Intersectionality: female genital mutilation and racism

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an extreme form of gender-based violence (GBV), specific violence against women and girls (VAWG), sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, violation human rights and development an obstacle that affects more than 200 million women and girls in the world with lasting and irreversible consequences. FGM is often approached as an African problem, but it is practiced on all continents. There are, for example, many more women circumcised in the USA (around 520,000) than in Guinea-Bissau (around 400,000).

The two-way intersectional forces that operate between FGM and racism must be addressed both to ensure racial equality and to end the practice of FGM by 2030. This session will bring together FGM experts and activists around the world and explore the ways in which the inherent underlying racism prevents the effective protection of all women and girls while leaving no one behind; the ways in which the consequences of FGM and racism on health, education, well-being, social and economic development are similar and cumulative; the idea that special laws criminalizing FGM are tinged with discrimination when each country already has general laws applicable to bodily harm, injury, mutilation, VAWG and femicide; and the idea that the general reluctance of development actors to tackle FGM directly may to some extent be the result of an underlying set of racial and gender biases.


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