UPDATE 29 DECEMBER 2015: On 1 December, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary held a public hearing on the state bill to criminalize FGM. Equality Now submitted written testimony in support of the bill and our partner, the Women’s Bar Association, presented a sizeable amount of testimony collected from survivors, medical professionals and other experts on the issue. Lawmakers also had the opportunity to hear directly from FGM survivors. The testimony was well received and we are hopeful that the legislators will vote the bill out of the Committee and to the House and Senate floor in early 2016.
Please continue to call on your Senator and Representative to support the Act Establishing Civil and Criminal Penalties for Female Genital Mutilation to protect women and girls at risk of FGM in Massachusetts!
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation and a recognized form of violence against girls and women. It occurs in many countries across the world, including the United States (U.S.) It is estimated that up to 507,000 girls and women in the U.S. have undergone FGM or are at risk of being subjected to FGM. Massachusetts ranks twelfth among all U.S. states with an estimated 14,951 girls and women at risk; Boston, Newton and Cambridge are among the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest number of girls and women potentially at risk of FGM.
Currently federal law and the laws of 24 U.S. states make it illegal to perform FGM in the U.S. or to take a child outside the country to perform it (a practice known as “vacation cutting”), however Massachusetts does not.
You can help change this.
The Massachusetts Act Establishing Civil and Criminal Penalties for Female Genital Mutilation would ensure that at-risk girls and women will be protected, and that girls and women living with the consequences of FGM can receive much needed services and can press for damages or other relief.
Join the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts and Equality Now in calling on Massachusetts legislators to pass this bill!
In order to address your message to the appropriate recipient, we need to identify where you are.
Please look up and use your full nine-digit zip for the best results.