Australia takes tough line on female circumcisionMay 1st, 2009 - 9:10 am ICT by IANS
Sydney, May 1 (DPA) Female circumcision is called female genital mutilation (FGM) in Australia and it’s a crime.
Those performing it face a possible seven-year prison term and those who don’t report it risk a stiff fine.
In Sydney’s outer suburb of Auburn, there’s a specialist FGM clinic that has been in operation for over 10 years and sees around 40 women a year.
The typical patient is in her 20s, is about to wed, and was operated on by a village midwife in an African or Middle Eastern country when she was young.
The clinic adopts the World Health Organisation definition of FGM as a surgical procedure “involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons”.
There is anecdotal evidence that the law is being broken and FGM is being performed in Australia. Ten doctors have reported being approached by parents looking to have it done.
There is also a suspicion that parents skirt local law by taking their daughters to their homeland to have the operation performed there which is also an offence.
Earlier this year, a judge in the Family Court set a precedent by confiscating the passport of an African-born citizen and that of his nine-year-old daughter “just in case the purpose that I have mentioned is in fact what he has in mind”.
The father, who described himself as a “respectable Muslim scholar in the Muslim community”, insisted he was opposed to FGM and that he had no intention of taking his daughter to Africa for that purpose. His wife, who was also questioned, said that she too was against the practice.
It was the second time that the Family Court had addressed the issue. In the first case, which involved another family, the court ordered the parents to be “restrained from visiting upon the child the act of circumcision, or any other surgical procedure with like effect, and allowing any other person to do so”.
- 100,000 women undergo genital mutilation in Britain - Apr 22, 2012
- African immigrant girls face sexual mutilation threat - Feb 06, 2012
- Female circumcision affects American girls too - May 27, 2010
- Burkina Faso's `pleasure hospital' offers women sexual hope - May 21, 2009
- 40,000 Zimbabwean men circumcised in a year - Nov 20, 2011
- South Africa urges circumcision to curb sexual diseases - Jul 28, 2011
- Cosmetic surgery in women increasingly becoming more pervasive - Jun 12, 2010
- Female circumcision continues in Egypt even six years after it was banned - Sep 22, 2008
- UK unsuccessful in halting female genital mutilation - Dec 20, 2009
- Couple jailed in France for mutilating daughters' genitals - Jun 04, 2012
- Circumcision Lowers Chances Of HPV Risk In Women, Study Says - Jan 09, 2011
- More Australian women opting for genital trim: Report - Nov 07, 2010
- Gene alteration turns male embryos into female, shows study - Dec 07, 2010
- Circumcision in boys could cut HIV risk, say experts - Sep 20, 2010
- Banned Indian-born doctor to resume work in Britain - Apr 11, 2012
Tags: anecdotal evidence, auburn, born citizen, female circumcision, female external genitalia, female genital mutilation, female genital mutilation fgm, female genital organs, muslim community, muslim scholar, offence, outer suburb, passport, prison term, second time, skirt, therapeutic reasons, typical patient, village midwife, world health organisation