What Happened to H.R.5137 - the Girls Protection Act of 2010 ???
Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
announced the introduction of new bipartisan legislation:
The Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137),
(a) to close the loophole in the federal law prohibiting FGM
(b) by making it illegal to transport a minor girl living in the U.S. out of the country
(c) for the purpose of FGM.
FGM is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia and is carried out across Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East, and by immigrants of practicing communities living around the world, including in Europe and the U.S.
It is estimated that up to 140 million women and girls around the world are affected by FGM.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 1997 that over 168,000 girls and women living in the U.S. have either been, or are at risk of being, subjected to FGM.
FGM is a form of gender-based violence and discrimination that is performed on girls to control their sexuality in womanhood, guarantee their acceptance into a particular community, and "safeguard" their virginity until marriage.
Joseph Crowley D-NY
Apr 26th Introduced in House
Apr 26th Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Jun 15th Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. And after this nothing -- the bill seems to have died in comittee. Where is H.R. 5137 ??
From Religion and Child Abuse News
The World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have unequivocally opposed FGM as a "medically unnecessary" practice, and it is widely recognized that all types of FGM are a form of gender-based violence. Stemming from this perspective, the AAP's 1998 statement sees the practice as a human rights violation, opposes all forms of FGM, and cautions pediatricians about their role in "perpetuating a social practice with cultural implications for the status of women."
Girls Protection Act
Equality Now (my current internship placement) and Sanctuary for Families (my internship placement from last summer) have partnered together in support of the creation of The Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137).
This important bill is co-sponsored by Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and aims to combat the practice of sending girls out of the United States to undergo female genital mutilation.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is considered by the United States (where it is banned) and international human rights organizations as a harmful traditional practice that includes the removal of part or all of the female genitalia.
It has severe physical, emotional, and psychological consequences including life-long pain, infection, hemorrhage, anxiety, stress disorders, sexual dysfunction, difficulties in childbirth, and death, among a multitude of other consequences.
It affects an estimated 140 million women and girls throughout the world, with an estimated 3 million girls at risk a year.
In 1997, the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimated that over 168,000 girls and women living in the United States have been, or are at risk of being, subjected to FGM.
Oftentimes, girls are sent on their school vacations out of the United States to undergo FGM, and this bill is aimed to combat just such a practice.
In 1996, the United States passed a law banning the performance of FGM within the United States, but it did not cover instances where girls were taken outside of the United States in order to undergo FGM, and this bill hopes to fill this gap.
In my second week at Equality Now, I had the opportunity to attend a press conference at the New York Women’s Foundation jointly held by Equality Now and Sanctuary for Families featuring Congressman Crowley and testimony of survivors of FGM from West Africa. This press conference was attended by members of the media, and was aimed to inform the public on the practice of FGM, its health consequences and dangers, its prevalence, and the proposed bill.
Equality Now’s Executor Director Taina Bien-Aimé spoke, as well as Senior Staff Attorney of Sanctuary for Families, Archana Pyati. Questions were asked by the media, inquiring into the practice of FGM, which countries it is currently practiced, the reasons and tradition behind it, as well questions surrounding the bill.
The Girls Protection Act of 2010 was introduced on April 26, 2010 and amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine or a five-year prison term, or both, to any citizen or permanent resident who knowingly transport a girl out of the United States under the age of 18 years to undergo FGM. Equality Now is tracking the progress of this bill and is continuing to support the passing of it.
As of June 15th, this bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. On June 30th, The New York Times wrote an editorial entitled “Not Anyone’s Daughter” in support of the bill and the quick passing of it. The op-ed may be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/opinion/01thu4.html?scp=1&sq=daughter&st=cse.
Links to Equality Now’s press releases on the bill may be found at: http://www.equalitynow.org/english/pressroom/press_releases/usfgmlaw_20100427_en.htmland http://www.equalitynow.org/english/pressroom/media_advisory/usfgmlaw_20100603_en.html.
I look forward to writing more on this bill and hopefully will be able to cover the passing of it.
Posted by Jenna Beatrice at 09:52