Graça Machel

Preventing the conflicts of tomorrow means changing the mind-set of youth today.- Graça Machel

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Finnish and East African women MPs to discuss the abandonment of female genital mutilation

14-15 May 2014

Helsinki, Finland – A female parliamentary delegation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda) will visit the Finnish Parliament on 14th and 15th of May. The overall theme of the visit is “democracy building, rule of law and parliamentary system”.

On this occasion the Finnish AWEPA Section will organise a short seminar on the promotion of the abandonment of FGM/C in cooperation with the Finnish Female Network of MPs and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Finland has approximately 14.000 Somalians living in Finland, and as the prevalence of FGM/C in Somalia is extremely high, the issue of FGM/C is also discussed in Finland. In this regard, in 2012 the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health published a national Action Plan 2012-2016 aimed at creating permanent national and regional structures to prevent circumcision of girls and women. Mr. Saido Mohamed from the League for Human Rights will discuss it further during the seminar.

Senator of Belgium and Political Coordinator for AWEPA’s FGM/C programme Hon. Van Hoof will share her experiences of her participation in AWEPA’s parliamentary activities focusing on the abandonment of FGM/C . Hon. Van Hoof will also speak about her successful efforts in Belgium resulting in the recent approved proposal put forward by her to expand the current Belgian law on FGM/C. This has led to the revision of the current Belgian law, making not only the implementers of FGM/C, but also individuals actively promoting and facilitating FGM/C prosecutable.