Call on the United States Senate & House of Representatives to Pass the Girls Protection Act

Equality Now has just issued Urgent Alert: Equality Now calls on the United States Senate & House of Representatives to Pass the Girls Protection Act. In May 2010, Equality Now issued an urgent alert calling on the United States House of Representatives to pass the “Girls Protection Act” (H.R. 5137) co-sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).  The legislation aimed at strengthening the 1996 federal law banning female genital mutilation (FGM) and would prohibit the act of transporting a girl abroad in order to subject her to FGM.  However, this Act did not pass in Congress last year.  It was reintroduced by Rep. Crowley and Rep. Bono Mack as HR 2221 in June 2011 and it is currently pending in the House.  On 29 November 2011 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced a companion bill “Girls Protection Act of 2011” (S. 1919).  This Reid extraterritoriality legislation or “vacation provision” also aims at closing the loophole in the federal law.

We urge both the United States House of Representatives and Senate to take this critical step toward reaffirming that FGM, in all its forms, is a human rights violation.  We also urge that culturally sensitive awareness-raising, education and outreach programs are put in place to protect girls living in the US from FGM.  In this regard, Equality Now urges its Women’s Action Network members in the United States to call upon their members of Congress and Senators to cosponsor the pending legislation in both the House and Senate.

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To learn more about the campaign, see:
http://www.equalitynow.org/take_action/fgm_action_1