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Female Genital Mutilation: A Matter of Human Rights An Advocate's Guide to Action

"Our position is that FC/FGM must be acknowledged as a violation of the human rights of women and girls - it cannot be separated from deep-seated and pervasive discrimination against women."

"This practical guide is intended for advocates working to stop the practice of FC/FGM. Its objective is to assist advocates in their efforts to engage their governments in this struggle."

"The international community has generally regarded FC/FGM as a violation of children's rights because FC/FGM is commonly performed upon girls between the ages of four and twelve, who are not in a position to give informed consent."

"Governments should undertake efforts at the community level to inform women of the health risks of FC/FGM. In addition, women and children who have already been subjected to FC/FGM and who are suffering from the complications of the procedure should have access to the care they need."

"Because enabling women to make the choice to abandon FC/FGM requires an improvement of women's status, governments should reform all existing laws that serve as barriers to women's equality. In many cases, this requires changing family laws, such as those that relate to marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, as well as laws relating to property."

"Women cannot stand alone in their demand for social justice. They must involve other sectors of society. Women need allies among politicians, religious leaders, health professionals, and all other influential individuals and groups in society."

-From Female Genital Mutilation: A Matter of Human Rights.