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Africa to ban female genital mutilation

Prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is part of the agenda of the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council which has opened in Malabo.

world Updated: Jun 27, 2011 17:43 IST

Prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is part of the agenda of the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council which has opened in Malabo.

The item on FGM was proposed by Burkina Faso, to educate African states on the need to fully support the draft resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations to ban FGM in the world, because it is considered harmful to women's health.

The draft resolution is the result of a campaign that involves Burkina Faso and Egypt, among other countries, after it was revealed that 91.5 million victims of this phenomenon in the world are mostly children under the age of nine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that, despite the efforts over the last two decades to eliminate FGM in the world, "about three million girls undergo yearly the risk of genital mutilation."

In Malabo, the AU foreign ministers will, among other things, consider setting up a common front and harmonised fight against FGM. The recommended actions include the creation and implementation of national mechanisms to inform, educate, prevent and suppress the practice of FGM, as well as the ratification and implementation of regional and international legal instruments to fight the phenomenon.

In Africa, the main actions against the practice are attributed to the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children (CWC), chaired by Burkina Faso since 2008, and national committees in 28 States considered to be the continent's most affected.