Senegal’s Council of Ministers has approved a draft law to ban female circumcision which affects 700,000 women in the country, UNICEF officials told IRIN today. A petition advocating the ban was brought before the council, which approved the draft yesterday, by village women fighting to end the age-old practice. The draft has to be approved by the National Assembly before becoming law. Under the draft published in an official communique, AFP reported, people engaging in female circumcision - the removal of the clitoris and sometimes the labia - would be imprisoned for five years.
An effort to make the rural population aware of the dangers of the practice was begun two years ago by the NGO, Tostan, under a UNICEF-supported social and literacy project in Malicounda, a village 70 km east of Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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