Commission welcomes Bill to end Female Genital Mutilation

Commission welcomes Bill to end Female Genital Mutilation

July 30, 2020

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, who looks after the women’s rights portfolio, has welcomed a historic bill that now bans all forms of female genital mutilation.

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an extreme form of discrimination and violence against women. Through this Bill, we uphold our duty and commitment to the rights of women and children to be free from violence and torture.”

The provisions in the Crimes Act regarding FGM predate the World Health Organisation’s definition of FGM. The Bill now updates our law to better protect women and children from all four types of FGM. 

“I am very proud that this Bill has come about through the work of the Ethnic Minority Women’s Rights Alliance of Aotearoa, a group co-chaired by the Human Rights Commission and Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.

“This is a historic moment also for our democracy, as this is the first bill ever to have been proposed by a cross-party coalition, and by women MPs for the benefit of our girls and women.” 

“Congratulations to all our communities that continue to advocate against FGM, violence, and discrimination, empowering survivors, and continuing to amplify the voices of our women and girls. You all deserve this win!” said Sumeo.