AkiDwA statement in response to FGM trial sentencing
In the wake of the news that a married couple has been found guilty of the crime of procuring an act of FGM on their daughter in September of 2016, AkiDwA, an organisation which has been working on the issue of FGM on the island of Ireland since 2001 has said that this is a step in the right direction.
While we are saddened by the circumstances which led to this ruling, the sentencing judgement by an Irish court today has sent a very strong message to anyone who might subject their daughters to FGM in Ireland. This conviction has set a precedent that Ireland does not condone the practice of FGM. AkiDwA’s advocacy efforts over the last two decades have mainly focused on prevention and eliminating FGM globally. The hidden nature and the fact that it involves women and girls private body parts make it very hard to detect and control. However, the consequences of FGM are life threatening and they can affect a woman throughout her life. It is also a violation of a woman’s human rights because there’s no medical justification for this practice. AkiDwA has and will continue to advocate and engage with affected communities as well as raise awareness at all levels of the society.
We believe it is crucial that policymakers show leadership in engaging with affected communities to prevent such a crime from happening to another girl again. The founder of AkiDwA, Salome Mbugua, said “a Government-led National Acton Plan and inter agency working group is highly needed in Ireland to ensure effective coordination and monitoring”. According to the current statistics on prevalence of FGM Ireland, there are an estimates 5,795 women and girls living in Ireland who have been subjected to FGM, and according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) as many as 1,632 girls in Ireland are at risk of FGM.
For more coverage on this issue, read our Opinion Piece in the Irish Times by our Head of Operations & Strategy, Salome Mbugua, with CEO of ActionAid Ireland, Siobhán McGee