"The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday urging countries to ban female genital mutilation, calling it an 'irreparable, irreversible abuse' that threatens about three million girls annually," Reuters reports. "The resolution, which is not legally binding, asks the 193 U.N. members to 'take all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit female genital mutilations and to protect women and girls from this form of violence,'" the news agency notes (Nichols, 12/20).
"The U.N. said in 2010 that about 70 million girls and women had undergone the procedure, and the World Health Organization said about 6,000 girls were circumcised every day," the Associated Press writes (Lederer, 12/20). According to NBC News, "Amnesty International ... says the practice is commonplace in 28 countries in Africa, as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and in certain ethnic groups in South America. It also occurs in among immigrant communities, including those in Europe and the United States, though it is unclear how frequently" (Ben-Chorin/Huus, 12/20).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.