Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

France

New campaign against female mutilation, forced marriage

Latest update : 2009-04-14

France's government has launched a new campaign to provide outreach for female victims of forced marriages or genital mutilation. France is home to an estimated 55,000 victims of genital mutilation and 70,000 forced marriages annually.

Reuters - France launched a new campaign to warn potential victims of forced marriages and female genital mutilation on Tuesday, with stark posters and booklets showing a wedding ring made of barbed wire.

France is home to an estimated 55,000 victims of female genital mutilation, mostly of African origin, and some 70,000 young women who are at risk of being forced into marriage, government officials said at a news conference.

« In both cases, neither tradition nor custom can justify  calling into question fundamental rights, » Solidarity Minister Valerie Letard said.

In a struggle to protect human rights while respecting the values of immigrant communities, European governments have ramped up efforts to protect young women of Asian, Middle Eastern or African descent who are lured abroad and married off.

Victims of genital mutilation are often children of primary school age, who are subjected to the ordeal during family holidays, activists told the news conference.

France’s government plans to distribute more than 100,000 booklets providing legal and medical advice and contacts for victims as well as doctors, teachers and social workers.

A booklet with a crossed-out red razor blade warned of the potentially lethal impact of genital mutilation, during which the clitoris and other parts of the vagina are removed.

« The booklets are useful for people who can read and write, but the majority of parents I talk to are illiterate, » Khady Koita, head of the European network against female genital mutilation, told Reuters.

Koita uses videos and drawings to show parents the dangers of the operation, which is meant to ensure a woman’s chastity and improve her chances of finding a husband.

« Over the past few years, their reaction has become more positive. Many parents now say, ‘I don’t do it anymore, but my problem is that when I go back to Africa there is a lot of social pressure’, » Koita said.

Other activists urged the government to provide secure shelters for women who flee forced marriages. They said it should be mandatory for women’s rights to be taught in schools, adding the issue is often avoided for fear of offending France’s ethnic minorities.

In France, forced marriages are illegal and can be annulled even if they were registered abroad. Registrars are encouraged to look for signs a marriage is not consensual and stop the ceremony if they suspect the bride was forced into it. 

Date created : 2009-04-14

COMMENT(S)