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house Bill H. Res. 106

Should the House Express Opposition to Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting?

Argument in favor

Female genital mutilation and cutting (FMG/C) has a range of health consequences for the women and girls it’s practice on. It’s also painful and a violation of women’s and girls’ basic rights. Expressing the House’s opposition to this practice is a step towards ending this practice globally.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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05/20/2019
I really don’t support non binding resolutions. This needs to be considered child abuse and made illegal but you are cowards aren’t you? You know that if you say here that religion has no place dictating what happens to a females body you will have to say the same about abortion. So you are willing to let this grotesque ritualistic torture without any benefit to the female but certain grave risks and pain continue so that men may continue to dominate & control young women forever while you do nothing.
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John's Opinion
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05/20/2019
Really. It should be against the law for any kind of genital mutilation to either gender for any reason. If they choose to have these barbaric things done then they should have to wait until they are 18 and the choice is theirs. Not their parents complying with a religious decree that people are dirty and this is a way to fix it. I’d like to thank Jewish beliefs for my penis not working like other men. I can’t have an orgasm, have children a normal relationship because some doctor slipped and my parents were just doing what the fucking bible told them. Just another reason I’m not a believer.
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Daron's Opinion
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05/20/2019
I’m so tired of this war on women. It’s 2019. Time to grow up.
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Argument opposed

FGM/C is a deeply ingrained cultural practice in some parts of the world, and it’s discriminatory to these cultures to try to end its practice. Women’s support for, and enthusiastic participation in, FGM/C speaks to the value certain societies place on FGM/C. Trying to end FGM/C constitutes imposing a Western view on other, non-Western societies and is a form of cultural imperialism.

Jillian's Opinion
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05/21/2019
Don’t waste Congress time unless you want it to mean something. What message is sent if it won’t pass both the House and Senate, and I want to see if that happens, if a Trump will sign it, or if the Saudi King’s shiny gold gift means more? We already know the Saudi prince can murder and dismember a US resident with no repercussions. Why stop short?
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Gregory's Opinion
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05/20/2019
More waste of time by the get nothing done but whine socialist democrats. WIN Win win 2020
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ThatGuyInOhio's Opinion
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05/20/2019
let Africa handle their own mess, keep American money out of it. let them pay with some of those blood diamonds and gold they are ravaging the country for.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed May 20th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 393 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Res. 106?

This resolution would express the House’s recognition that female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a violation of women’s and girls’ human rights and affirm the importance of ending FGM/C for women’s safety and security. It’d also call upon the international community to increase its efforts to accelerate the elimination of FGM/C. Finally, it’d urge the State Dept. and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to incorporate coordinated efforts to eliminate FGM/C in their gender programming.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C); State Dept.; USAID; and the House.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 106

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced this resolution on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in order to call for international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide, recognize FGM as a human rights violation against women, and enhance global awareness of this practice:

“Every girl, no matter where she’s born, has a right to live free of violence. Today’s bipartisan resolution sends a clear message that these gross human rights violations are unacceptable and horrific practices like FGM/C must stop.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) adds:

“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a horrendous practice and has absolutely no place in America - or any other place in this world. FGM is an unconscionable, systematic form of abuse and subjugation perpetuated against the youngest and most vulnerable among us. Now’s the time to stand up for the voiceless. I appreciate the work of my colleague Congresswoman Frankel on this joint resolution to condemn FGM and call for international action to prevent this atrocity now and in the future.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) opposes FGM/C as a practice:

“FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”

Leyla Hussein, a London-based anti-FGM campaigner who was cut at seven years old, argues that FGM/C is a form of child abuse:

“We need to call FGM what it is – the worst form of violence against girls and women – rather than let it hide under a cultural banner. It is child abuse, and we need it named as such because language is the most powerful way to fight it.”

Critics of anti-FGM policies argue that the practices has parallels with ritual circumcision of baby boys in children. Thus, they believe it’s inconsistent, if not hypocritical, that one practice is banned while the other is allowed. In adults, they argue that FGM has parallels with cosmetic surgery, and should be allowed in the same way as cosmetic surgery is.

Dr. Ali Selim, a member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, argues that female circumcision is “an inherited practice” that parents should be allowed to have carried out on their daughters if a doctor says it’s necessary. He also contends that female circumcision has been covered unfairly in the media, who have “described in a horrible way, it's always described as 'barbaric' and we always hear the term mutilation, it is portrayed as a dark skin practice, or something that belongs in the Dark Ages.”

Bettina Shell-Duncan, an anthropology professor at the University of Washington who has been studying FGM/C in many countries for years, challenges some common misconceptions around FGM/C. In Shell-Duncan’s experience, elderly women — not men — do the most to perpetuate FGM/C as a practice. Additionally, contrary to many advocates’ beliefs, most people who practice FGM/C recognize its costs; they merely believe that the benefits outweigh them. In an interview with The Atlantic in 2015, Shell-Duncan described a bride’s joy after being circumcised the evening before her wedding: “The bride came out and joined the dancing. I almost died. I thought she must be on codeine, but she wasn’t. She was joyful.” She also pointed out that the traditional feminist argument against FGM/C is potentially undermined by the fact that women are stronger supporters of FGM/C than men:

“The sort of feminist argument about this is that it’s about the control of women but also of their sexuality and sexual pleasure. But when you talk to people on the ground, you also hear people talking about the idea that it’s women’s business. As in, it’s for women to decide this. If we look at the data across Africa, the support for the practice is stronger among women than among men. So, the patriarchy argument is just not a simple one. Female circumcision is part of demarcating insider and outsider status. Are you part of this group of elder women who have power in their society?"

This resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations by voice vote with the support of 28 bipartisan cosponsors, including 21 Democrats and seven Republicans.


Of NoteFemale genital mutiliation or cutting (FGM/C) — the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons — is a deeply rooted cultural practice, impacting over 200 million women worldwide. It’s routinely performed on girls from infancy to age 15 in over 25 countries. It’s been documented in certain parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with cases now being reported in the U.S. and Europe. FGM/C is classified into four major types, ranging from pricking and scraping to total removal of the clitoris and the narrowing of the vaginal opening. The World Health Organization (WHO) says FGM/C has no health benefit and numerous physical consequences, including: difficulty urinating and menstruating, severe bleeding, scarring, myriad sexual problems, increased risk of childbirth complications, shock, and even death.

According to UNICEF data, 67% of girls and women and 63% of boys and men say they want the practice of genital mutilation to end. Francesca Moneti, UNICEF Senior Child Protection Specialist, says:

“Although female genital mutilation is associated with gender discrimination, our findings show that the majority of boys and men are actually against it. Unfortunately, individuals’ desire to end FGM is often hidden, and many women and men still believe the practice is needed in order for them to be accepted in their communities.”

In 2015, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, 193 countries called for an end to FGM by 2030. Since 2008, five countries — Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Uganda and the Gambia — have passed laws criminalizing FGM/C. In total, over 15,000 communities in 20 countries have publicly declared that they’re abandoning FGM/C as a practice.

From 1996 to 2018, the U.S. had a federal law banning FGM. However, in late 2018, a federal judge in Michigan concluded that FGM/C is local criminal activity to be regulated by the states. Thus, he ruled that Congress “overstepped its bounds” when it passed that law and therefore declared the federal law unconstitutional. As of late 2018, 27 U.S. states had laws outlawing FGM/C.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / fermate)

AKA

Denouncing female genital mutilation/cutting as a violation of the human rights of women and girls and urging the international community and the Federal Government to increase efforts to eliminate the harmful practice.

Official Title

Denouncing female genital mutilation/cutting as a violation of the human rights of women and girls and urging the international community and the Federal Government to increase efforts to eliminate the harmful practice.

    I really don’t support non binding resolutions. This needs to be considered child abuse and made illegal but you are cowards aren’t you? You know that if you say here that religion has no place dictating what happens to a females body you will have to say the same about abortion. So you are willing to let this grotesque ritualistic torture without any benefit to the female but certain grave risks and pain continue so that men may continue to dominate & control young women forever while you do nothing.
    Like (112)
    Follow
    Share
    Don’t waste Congress time unless you want it to mean something. What message is sent if it won’t pass both the House and Senate, and I want to see if that happens, if a Trump will sign it, or if the Saudi King’s shiny gold gift means more? We already know the Saudi prince can murder and dismember a US resident with no repercussions. Why stop short?
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Really. It should be against the law for any kind of genital mutilation to either gender for any reason. If they choose to have these barbaric things done then they should have to wait until they are 18 and the choice is theirs. Not their parents complying with a religious decree that people are dirty and this is a way to fix it. I’d like to thank Jewish beliefs for my penis not working like other men. I can’t have an orgasm, have children a normal relationship because some doctor slipped and my parents were just doing what the fucking bible told them. Just another reason I’m not a believer.
    Like (98)
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    Share
    I’m so tired of this war on women. It’s 2019. Time to grow up.
    Like (91)
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    This practice is barbaric and no woman should be subjected to it.
    Like (67)
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    Altering a child’s body without their consent is a core violation of bodily autonomy. I wish you were making this a law and not wasting time on “expressing the sense” bills.
    Like (56)
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    Yes, FGM should be illegal and condemned.
    Like (45)
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    FGM is horrific violation of human rights and the same goes for male circumcision as well! These practices need to end!
    Like (37)
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    Once again congress really goes out on a limb. This is not even a question. Stop wasting time on easy legislation and get to work finding ways to work together on crazy stuff like rebuilding our infrastructure, healthcare and immigration reform, oh, and keeping guns away from the mentally ill. That’s right, I forgot that would require intelligent debate and not worrying so much about re-election.
    Like (22)
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    Why do we even need to ask whether we should protect women and girls from being mutilated? Yes! Protect our Women & Girls!
    Like (21)
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    All infant/child genital cutting should be made illegal. Protect all children from these procedures and let it be a decision people make for themselves as informed adults.
    Like (20)
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    How is this even a yay or nay question? This should be a federal offense. Actually, a hate crime. Congress has gone nuts. I want a do-over with my Representative.There was a video of the child's reaction of this floating around on Twitter. I wanted to slap the poop out of the woman (and yes, it's done mainly by women) doing this to about an 8 year old girl.This is not about religion-it's about keeping women from feeling anything so they don't commit adultery. That's it. There should be NO question about making this illegal. NONE. WHAT. SO. EVER.
    Like (19)
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    You’re ready to pass laws saying no mutilation of the vaginal area is wrong and I agree, but we also have no right to take the freedom of vaginal rights away from women, then cut child care,snap and assistance to raise the baby’s they couldn’t afford in the first place. Funding planned parenthood for woman’s health is imperative
    Like (17)
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    The only purpose for this barbaric practice is the humiliation & subjection of women. Not only should it be opposed, but those who subject women & girls to it should face very severe penalties.
    Like (16)
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    I support this bill. What animal doesn’t support this. We need to stop this awful, awful barbarism.
    Like (14)
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    YES!!!YES!!!YES!!! How can there even be any question??? This is a practice(?) that literally makes me terrified for the victim!!! No excuses, no reason could be explaination enough!!
    Like (14)
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    What about male circumcision? I'm opposed to genital mutilation on all sexes.
    Like (11)
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    Litmus test time
    Like (11)
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    Should Trump be able to grab girls by the you know what? If you’re ok with one you’re probably ok with the other.
    Like (11)
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    FGM is a barbaric practice. I could care less how “culturally appropriate” some people label it. If one cares about human rights and women’s rights, then we must oppose it worldwide—and most assuredly in the US, people who practice it, and submit their daughters to it, should be held criminally responsible. But you can bet your sweet patootie that some Dems will vote to uphold this under the guise of “multi-culturalism.” If they do I suggest we bring back the Dowry as well; it’s the same centuries old practice that upholds women as property. What’s the difference?
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