This Letter to the Editor was first published in the Toronto Star on July 19, 2017.
Canada must help end FGM
Canadian girls are being taken abroad to undergo female genital mutilation, documents reveal, July 15
I commend the Toronto Star for its series on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), a grave violation of the human rights of girls that needs Canada’s, and the world’s, full attention.
After all, Canada has signed on to meeting the commitments in the global Sustainable Development Goals, which target the elimination of FGM/C — no matter where it happens — by 2030.
In most countries where Amref Health Africa works in sub-Saharan Africa, FGM/C is illegal. Working directly with local governments on enforcement of existing laws is a vital piece when it comes to preventing Canadian girls from being subjected to so-called “vacation cutting.”
As is working hand-in-hand with local communities to create alternative practices that celebrate positive cultural traditions while ending harmful practices to girls, such as FGM/C.
Canada has shown itself to be an outspoken advocate on the world stage for the human rights and full equality of girls and women. In helping to end FGM/C, the government of Canada has an important role to play in convening Canadian and international organizations whose expertise can help better track how many Canadian girls may be at risk, as well step up its actions to end FGM/C here at home and abroad.
-Anne-Marie Kamanye, executive director, Amref Health Africa in Canada