(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

UNICEF applauds ban on female genital mutilation

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed Senegal’s decision to approve legislation banning female genital mutilation. The law was voted through by the parliament on Wednesday, UNICEF said.

“Senegal’s action is of great significance because it reflects the resolve of African women to end a cruel and unacceptable practice which violates the right of all girls to free, safe and healthy lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said in a statement yesterday (Thursday).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 130 million women and girls - the bulk of them in 28 African countries - have been subjected to genital mutilation. In Senegal, it says 830,000 women - one in five - have undergone the operation.

The full text of the statement can be found on the UNICEF website at
http://www.unicef.org. Further information on female genital mutilation can be found on the WHO website: http://www.who.int

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