Doing right by women – Zainah Anwar

Source: The Star Online

By Zainah Anwar

THE gasps were audible. The cringing moments were painful. The visible displays of shock, disbelief and exasperation were worthy of Academy Awards.

Whether you looked to the front, back, left or right, it was clear that everyone, from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) Committee experts to the civil society activists and national human rights institution commissioners from different countries, was stunned by the Malaysian performance in Geneva.

And #CedawMalaysia was the second highest trending topic on Feb 20. Read more

In Geneva, UN committee tells Malaysia to eliminate FGM

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) committee has urged Putrajaya to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Representatives from Muslim-majority countries criticised Malaysia yesterday for allowing the practice of FGM, even when it is no longer considered to be in line with Islamic teachings. Read more

Why is Malaysia still practising female genital mutilation? — Sivananthi Thanenthiran & Rozana Isa

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY SIVANATHI THANENTHIRAN & ROZANA ISA

FEMALE genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) threatens about three million girls annually and at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries, according to Unicef.

However, activists believe it is practised in at least 45 countries. While FGM/C is often associated with Africa, it is more widespread in Asian countries, including Malaysia.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously passed a resolution calling it a human rights violation and urged nations to ban the practice and the ban was reaffirmed in 2014. The resolution was adopted by all UN member states, including Malaysia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines FGM as comprising all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Read more

Khatan perempuan tiada dalam Islam, kata pakar

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Amalan mengkhatan kanak-kanak perempuan di kalangan umat Islam negara ini tidak ada kaitan dengan ajaran Islam, kata beberapa doktor perubatan dan aktivis Islam yang ditemui FMT.

“Tiada satu pun ayat Al-Quran atau hadis yang mewajibkan khatan kepada perempuan,” kata pakar kardiotorasik dan pensyarah kanan jurusan perubatan di Universiti Monash, Dr Farouk Musa.

Beliau yang juga pengarah Islamic Renaissance Front menjelaskan, hadis yang menyatakan amalan berkhatan, atau apa yang dikenali sebagai “female genital mutilation” (pemotongan genitalia wanita, FGM) sebagai “memuliakan perempuan”, bukan merupakan hadis sahih.

Pandangan ini berbeza daripada amalan di Malaysia, di mana orang Melayu Islam yang rata-rata bermazhab Shafie, mengamalkannya secara berleluasa. Read more

S’pore comes under pressure over female genital cutting of babies

Source: FMT News 

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Medical clinics in Singapore are carrying out female genital cutting on babies, according to people with first-hand experience of the procedure, despite growing global condemnation of the practice which world leaders have pledged to eradicate.

The ancient ritual – more commonly associated with rural communities in a swathe of African countries – is observed by most Muslim Malays in Singapore where it is legal but largely hidden, said Filzah Sumartono of women’s rights group AWARE.

Worldwide, more than 200 million girls and women are believed to have undergone female genital cutting or mutilation (FGM), according to United Nations figures.

But its existence in Singapore, a wealthy island state which prides itself on being a modern, cosmopolitan city with high levels of education, shows the challenge of tackling a practice rooted in culture, tradition and a desire to belong.

Sumartono said it was too early to press for a ban in Singapore although many countries have outlawed FGM. She said they first needed to create more awareness and debate around the practice and galvanize public support for ending it. Read more

Eliminating violence against women – United Nations

Sources: The Malaysian Insider & UN News; UNiTE

Across the world, violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious – and the most tolerated – human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.

Its continued presence is one of the clearest markers of societies out of balance and we are determined to change that.

On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we say again:
It is not acceptable.
It is not inevitable.
It can be prevented.

Although there is no single solution to such a complex problem, there is growing evidence of the range of actions that can stop violence before it happens, especially if they are implemented in parallel. Read more