Female genital mutilation

Resolution number: 
4
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects over 114 million women and girls in the world;
  2. An estimated 6 - 8 million girls under the age of 10 undergo the process of female genital mutilation each year;
  3. Female genital mutilation is the removal of, or injury to, any part of the female genital organ. The three main types are:

    Type 1) Clitoridectomy ("sunna") which may involve:

    1. Pricking the clitoris to induce bleeding,
    2. partial removal of the clitoris,
    3. complete removal of the clitoris

     

    Type 2)  Excision - removal of the clitoris and partial or complete removal of the labia minora

    Type 3) Infibulation ("Pharaonic mutilation") removal of the clitoris, labia minora, parts of the labia majora and the stitching together of the vulva (infibulation) to obliterate the urethra and the vaginal orifice except for a small opening (Women's Health in Women's Hands);

  4. Female Genital Mutilation is valued as a significant ritual within the cultures and communities in which it is practised but it has no valid religious or spiritual basis;
  5. Female Genital Mutilation can cause death in extreme cases or will leave the young woman with ongoing, lifelong health problems such as urinary and menstrual flow retention, dysmenorrhoea, infections of the reproductive and urinary tract, chronic pelvic infection, problems with childbirth, with sexual activity and chronic pain;
  6. Female Genital Mutilation is specifically identified as illegal in many countries and in Canada it is considered as child abuse in the section of physical abuse and aggravated assault;
  7. Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse but is also a violation of women's human rights, is violence against women, is violence against women's sexuality, is torture;
  8. Most importantly, Female Genital Mutilation is being practised in refugee camps, and it is well known what the sanitary conditions of refugees camps are like to undertake a radical surgery such as FGM;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Recommend to the UNCHR to recognise that Female Genital Mutilation is a human rights issue, and that it should be treated as such;
  2. Request that the Criminal Code of Canada be amended to specifically identify Female Genital Mutilation as a criminal act, and explore the possibility of appropriate new legislation;
  3. Urge the Federal and Provincial Ministries to appropriate funds and resources to provide counselling and support groups for the victims of FGM, for educational programmes to take place within the communities in which Female Genital Mutilation is practised and in order for the affected communities to educate the mainstream Canadian society, in particular, health service providers and educational institutions;
  4. Continue to pursue the issue of Female Genital Mutilation through information sharing, education and in advocacy;
  5. Explore the inclusion of FGM on the platform for action in the upcoming fourth world conference on Women, in Beijing 1995;
  6. Urge Canada to provide protection to women and to women and their daughters who are fleeing the FGM practice.
Working Group: 
Immigration and Settlement