Does FGM include genital piercings?

23 Feb

Debates about stricter legislation in Germany and Ireland for the protection of women.

BERLIN/DUBLIN – Last thursday the German parliament discussed the first time about a proposed law from the German party Alliance 90/The Greens, according to which female genital mutilation (FGM) would be jugded as grievous bodily harm. As the Headquater for Political Education reports on its website, the maximum penalty would be 15 years imprisonment, as far as the act is done purposly. Members of all parties voiced their support for the best possible protection of girls and women against FGM in Germany.
“Neither religion nor culture orders female genital mutilation”, says Monika Lazar from the Alliance. According to estimations of the women rights organization “Terre des Femmes” approximately 18 000 women in Germany are affected by FGM, 5000 more are in danger.
In the meantime the Irish parliament debates about suggested amendments in a proposed law to outlaw female genital mutilation (FGM). Accorrding to reports of the Irish Times the amendment would criminalise modern trends in cosmetic surgeries and genital piercings. “It is not the intention of the Bill to criminalise certain forms of genital piercings and cosmetic surgery for aesthetic purposes”, declares the Irish Minister for Health James Reilly. If the exemption is included, piercing and cosmetic surgery would be female genital mutilation.
With this statement Reilly responses to Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin´s critics, member of the Irish-republican party Sinn Féin, who asks for exemption of the permission to carry out mentioned procedures on women over the age of 18 years.
Ciara Conway, member of the Irish Labour party, comments the debate appropriately: “Legislation on its own, I´m afraid, isn´t going to eradicate it completely.”
The Bill now proceeds to report stage in the parliament.

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