It's not known to what extent female genital mutilation is practised in Australia, but the federal government's stance is clear.

"FGM is illegal," Health Minister Tanya Plibersek told parliament.

"It has no place in Australia, it is a violation of the human rights of girls and women, it is a crime and it will be not be excused by culture."

Ms Plibersek marked International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM on Wednesday by announcing a national summit to tackle the practice.

In April, community, health and legal experts will discuss ways of stamping out FGM both here and abroad.

The government plans to find out how many migrant women in Australia have suffered FGM, a figure believed to be in the tens of thousands.

This is important as the the number of new arrivals from countries with a high prevalence of FGM has increased in recent decades, Ms Plibersek said.

Many of these women will require specialised medical care in the future as the procedure can lead to chronic pain, sexual dysfunction, psychological trauma and complications in childbirth.

Though FGM has no health benefit, it's common in countries countries in north, eastern and western Africa, as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East.

It's estimated it affects about 140 million women worldwide, with a further three million girls, mostly under 15, at risk of the procedure each year.

Anybody who performs FGM, or removes a child for that purpose, could face a maximum 21 years jail in Australia.

But where cultural practices are deeply embedded in communities, laws can be limited in bringing about change, Ms Plibersek said.

The government will shortly announced half a million dollars in funding to organisations building awareness through education to drive attitudinal change about the practice.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel