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International Day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

International Day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

B. Quoss, Waldfriede Manager with State Secretary I. Fischbach (BMG/Schinkel)

Bern, Switzerland [CD EUDNews, UN, BfG]. February 6, 2015. Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons - , and is recognized internationally as a violation of t

February 06, 2015 | CD EUDNews, UN, BfG.

Bern, Switzerland [CD EUDNews, UN, BfG]. February 6, 2015.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons -, and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death.

Although primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, FGM is a universal problem and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America. FGM continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

On 20 December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/67/146 in which it
Calls uponStates, the United Nations system, civil society and all stakeholders to continue to observe 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and to use the day to enhance awareness- raising campaigns and to take concrete actions against female genital mutilations”.

Today, on February 6, On the occasion of the International Day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation, State Secretary Ingrid Fischbach has visited the adventist "Desert Flower Center Waldfriede" in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

As the first institution in Germany, the Desert Flower Center specializes in holistic care and treatment of women and girls, who are affected by female genital mutilation and its consequences.

For this purpose, State Secretary Ingrid Fischbach declared: "Female Genital Mutilations are human rights violations, which cannot be justified by cultural or religious traditions. Girls and Women suffer massively under the psychological and physical consequences. The Desert Flower Center Waldfriede provides women and girls with a highly specialized and competent Team that helps and supports. "

Parntering with a foundation established by a former supermodel, Waris Dirie, a Seventh-day Adventist hospital in Berlin, Waldfriede, opened this center on September 11, 2013, to help restore victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The 'Krankenhaus Waldfriede' (Berlin Hospital) opened the Desert Flower Center in cooperation with the Vienna/Austria-based “Desert Flower Foundation,” which was launched in 2002 by Somali model Waris Dirie.

Dirie, herself a victim of FGM at age five, is an international activist and established the foundation to raise awareness of the ritual. Her 1997 book “Desert Flower” was made into a movie in 2009.

FGM is practiced in nearly 30 countries in Africa and Asia. Young girls are subjected to the removal or slicing of some of their sexual organs as a coming-of-age cultural tradition.

FGM is sometimes viewed as a status symbol and some practitioners say it controls sexuality and promotes chastity. Its effects often include infection, chronic pain and infertility. The United Nations banned the practice last year. The World Health Organization estimates that 150 million women are victims.

Denise Hochstrasser, Women’s Ministries director for the Adventist Church’s Inter-European Division, based in Berne, Switzerland, said the new center is helping to restore victims to how God created them.

“When women have lost parts of their body through misunderstanding, tradition, incomprehensible practices, crime and abuse in the past, then if we can, it is our duty to give them back whatever we can so they can live a normal life, as God has meant it to be from the beginning,” Hochstrasser said.

“We are happy that an Adventist Hospital has taken this step to help on a topic that in so many countries remains silent,” she said. “We have to speak up for these women; we have to inform wherever we can.”

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