Zonta International is a global organization of women and men dedicated to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation and a form of child abuse, gender discrimination and violence against women and girls. FGM is a global problem, and its eradication requires international cooperation and enforcement at the national level.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 513,000 girls and women in the United States were either victims or at risk of FGM, with one-third under age 18. While there are federal policies that recognize FGM as a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls, the current federal law is in limbo after a decision in a Michigan court case found it unconstitutional. The law must be amended so it can withstand future court challenges and continue to protect girls from FGM.
The STOP FGM Act of 2020, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, amends the law that criminalizes female genital mutilation to ensure that girls are protected from violence, makes it illegal to cut a girl’s genitalia for non-medical reasons, and adds important provisions, including an updated definition of FGM.
Please contact your representative and ask them to support the bipartisan STOP FGM Act of 2020, H.R. 6100.