SOCHUM – Mutilation or Mutiny ?


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a tricky topic that our delegate had to handle. As we tried to approach this subject, we had to remember that, while it is closely linked to religious practices, it is also part of the tradition and culture of different ethnical groups. So how does one deal with such a controversial subject regarding the protection of women’s rights while protecting human’s rights?

Update about Women’s genitals mutilations

Based on the recent UNICEF report about FGM, data revealed that 125 million girls and women undergo genital mutilation in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. In some cases, it even concerns little girls aged from 5 to 14 years old, as is the case with 80% of girls in Tchad.

The previsions advance that 30 million more girls are at risk of FGM. It is a near-universal practice in countries such as Cameroun, Egypt, Somalia, and Guinea. As advanced by our delegates, this practice is dangerous for women’s health and was qualified by some as “torture.”

Clash In SOCHUM

As expected, most of the Assembly agreed on the fact that FGM was a practice that should cease to be because it is a massive infringement of women’s rights.

Sweden, known for his feminist policies, along with the delegations of the UK, France, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, the USA, China, and even Nigeria underlined the urgency of a regulation. They advanced that victims of FGM were deprived of their identity. All of them had the same point of view about cultural and social pressure exerted on girls and women, particularly coming directly from their families. We recall that FGM’s practitioners are often the mothers themselves.

We have to work step by step,” said the Indonesian delegate.

This part of the assembly submitted several forms of regulation. Firstly, Sweden and Nigeria wanted to completely prohibit it through legal regulation, whereas other states like France, the UK, and Canada proposed measures through education.

It was supported by the USA and the United Arab Emirates. However, the latter underlined the fact that they wanted to let the choice to women when they grow up, and the former proposed a statistic campaign.

The first clash emerged when some delegates were pointed out for having prepared the redaction of the resolution which is prohibited in the UN. However, the chairs quickly solved this disagreement.

They finally agreed on writing a resolution which included measures such as the collaboration with NGOs, UN foundations, financial help largely supported by the Chinese delegation, and medical measures to practice in the best medical conditions as possible. There was also a clause about men’s circumcision to precise that it must be performed in proper hygiene conditions. Education of women and their immediate entourage was, of course, promoted.

However, the opposition was found with the Arabian states, composed of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The latter gave the argument that girls were protected by their father and husband. Those two delegates disagreed with the first resolution. They decided to start the redaction of a counter resolution allowing the non-practice of FGM except for exceptional circumstances. The USA’s delegate protested and qualified their behavior as disrespectful.

They found a consensus, and the UAE and Saudi Arabia managed to express their point of view by including some amendments in the first proposition.

The resolution is yet to be known. At least, however, the delegates reached an agreement to solve the emergency of FGM.

Stay Tuned!

 

Mathilda Ruiz

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