Archive | July, 2012

Two human rights activists join the board of the Desert Flower Foundation

31 Jul

The international renowned French lawyer and human rights activist Linda Weil-Curiel as well as the former Swedish EU Commissioner for Justice Anita Gradin are both fighting successfully against FGM since the 80s. From the 1st of August these experts team up as board members of the Desert Flower Foundation.









VIENNA – The French attorney Linda Weil-Curiel fights successfully against female genital mutilation in France since the 80s. She was the first, who brought cutters in France to court and who represented numerous victims of FGM against their parents. In 1982 Weil-Curiel founded the Commission for the abolition of sexual mutilation (CAMS).  It is the merit of Linda Weil-Curiel, that today France has the strictest laws against FGM in Europe and that girls have to go regularly to medical checks until the age of six to prove their bodily integrity.

Anita Gradin, Swedish politician and former EU Commissioner for Immigration, Home Affairs and Justice, fights against FGM since the 80s. She was one of the first politicians, who made FGM a subject of discussion and who took measures against it.

With these two experts and their networking in politics and society, the Desert Flower Foundation plans even more efficient measures and campaigns against FGM.

The rising fear of legalization of FGM in Egypt

13 Jul

EGYPT: Despite the fact that Female Genital Mutilation has been banned in Egypt in 1996, the issue continues to be a problematic one. There exists a reasonable fear that the ban could be overturned under the existing Islamist government, as Al Arabiya News reported today.

Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, who became president last month, was asked on television to comment on the state-imposed ban on FGM. He said it was a private issue between mothers and daughters, adding that families, not the state, should decide. Mr Morsi´s views are commonly held across the country.

His response disturbed children’s and women’s rights advocates who have been working for years to change the perception of this procedure in the society.

Although support for FGM is still widespread there has been considerable change since the mid-1990s. In 1995, 82 % of women aged (15-49) believed FGM should continue. This dropped to 75 % in 2000 and to 62.5% in 2008, according to UNICEF.

The Egyptian feminist, writer and physician Nawal el-Saadawi was the first to shed light on the issue across the region, said:

” Everything is possible depending on the ruling party.The government controls everything in the country; they own weapons, money, and media. When any new government comes to power, they definitely implement changes.”

As a result, the human rights groups are increasingly concerned that the Islamic parties intend to cut women rights short and reverse laws which were passed under the former regimes, including the ban on FGM.