Campaign to ban FGM worldwide



In 2010-2012, the No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) Female Genital Mutilation Program, in cooperation with the partners of the Ban FGM Coalition, focused on a campaign for the adoption of a United Nations General Assembly Resolution to explicitly ban female genital mutilation (FGM). NPWJ has been working in collaboration with parliamentarians and women’s rights activists from Africa, Europe and other affected countries, to ensure that they be afforded a real opportunity to contribute to the development of a Resolution text that has a strong political impact at the national level.

To this end, NPWJ conducted activities:
(1) in Africa, mobilizing the most committed parliamentarians and activists to involve them in the campaign for the UNGA Resolution, and continuing the engagement with national governments, parliaments and activists to promote the adoption and application of effective laws against FGM at the national level;
(2) at the United Nations, working directly with the missions of affected countries (African and others), in order to generate wide political support for a Resolution that bans FGM; and
(3) in Italy, to re-launch and support political mobilization at the national level and to give support, visibility and inspiration to the commitment that the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dedicated throughout the years to this issue.
Program context
Within the frame of the campaign conducted over the last years, NPWJ has supported the political mobilization of African organizations and activists, including parliamentarians, towards the adoption of national laws prohibiting FGM. Clear and unambiguous national legislation is essential to consolidate a formal and explicit commitment of the State against FGM, by recognizing the practice as a massive and systemic violation of the human rights of women. Legislation can also provide the legal tools to legitimize and facilitate the work of anti-FGM activists and women’s rights groups and protect women and girls willing to challenge the social convention by refusing to undergo FGM, contributing to turning the tide of social conventions and to fighting those cultural norms that reinforce the practice. 
Since 2000, NPWJ has organized conferences, seminars, and workshops, promoted public mobilization actions and conducted lobbying and advocacy actions in order to stimulate the political commitment of institutions, authorities, women’s rights activists and communities to promote the adoption of legal measures as positive and long-lasting tool of social progress.
The adoption and the entry into force of the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which enshrines the obligation to adopt national legislation against FGM in article 5; the increasing commitment at the international level shown by affected States and by the international community and growing awareness within African civil society of the value of international instruments to create political openings at the local level all show the timeliness and need to bring the issue to the highest level, bringing all countries in an affirmation and recognition of the necessity to ban FGM.