America is making significant progress in ending the barbaric procedure of female genital mutilation (FGM).
In all, reports the national EndFGMToday campaign, 37 states have outlawed this terrible form of child abuse. Two states took decisive action just recently, when the Wyoming and Kentucky governors signed anti-FGM legislation into law, even as their states were struggling with immense economic and health challenges.
“Today, in the era of gender-based violence and the #MeToo movement, FGM, one of the most brutal gender-based acts of violence against little girls, remains protected in 13 states and in federal law in the United States,” said internationally renowned attorney and child welfare advocate Elizabeth Yore, who heads EndFGMToday. “This is rapidly becoming a national scandal that the greatest country in the world can’t protect little girls from this barbarism.”
States can no longer count on a federal mandate to prohibit FGM. Even though a federal law was passed in 1996, a Michigan judge ruled in late 2019 that it was unconstitutional. Therefore, it’s now up to states to protect their girls and women from this horrid practice that is recognized by the UN and World Health Organization as a human rights violation.