Inner Wheel and Rotary Club Lauria: “Against Female Genital Mutilation”

LAURIA (PZ) – “Female Genital Mutilation is a serious form of violence that tramples on little girls and young women rights. This practice endangers physical and psychological health of those young women who suffer it but it is also something against all of us. We must be engaged in a battle that does not only concern women but has to do with the development of the whole human race. Today in the world more than 200 million women have scars of some form of genital mutilation on their body. Genital mutilation is mainly practiced on girls between 4 and 14 years of age…  FGM can cause short, medium and long-term complications as chronic pain, infections, increased risk of HIV transmission, anxiety and depression, complications during childbirth, infertility and at worst death.”

Undersecretary for Health Sandra Zampa, who spoke at the National Conference, said: “Global health for the protection of women: is it possible to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation? The Conference took place at the Ministry of Health on the occasion of the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation which is celebrated on 6th February of each year by virtue of a 2012 UN resolution.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) distinguishes female sexual mutilation into four different types:

Type I: “partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce”.

Type II: (excision) “the complete or partial removal of the inner labia, with or without removal of the clitoral glans and outer labia”.

Type III: (infibulation or pharaonic circumcision) the “sewn closed” category, is “the removal of the external genitalia and fusion of the wound”. The inner and/or outer labia are cut away, with or without removal of the clitoral glans.

Type IV: “all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes”. It includes nicking of the clitoris (symbolic circumcision).

Also in Italy has been introduced specific rules to fight and stop female genital mutilation practices.

More precisely, on 18th January 2006 the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic published the Law 09/01/2006 n. 7 which contains “Dispositions concerning the prevention and prohibition of female genital mutilation practices”, because also and especially in Italy FGM have been practised for a long time.

In application of articles 2, 3 and 32 of the Italian Republic’s Constitution and in implementation of the dispositions of the Declaration and Program of Action adopted in Beijing on September 15, 1995 during the Fourth World Conference of the United Nations on Women, the “Consolo Law” (from the name Giuseppe Consolo, proponent and first signatory), said “the necessary measures to prevent, oppose and repress female genital mutilation practices such as violations of fundamental rights to the integrity of the person and to the health of women and girls”.

Despite this, 35,000 girls have been mutilated in Italy.

What can we do?

Inner Wheel Club of Lauria city believes that raising public awareness is very important.

In order to make the phenomenon come out and make the law be applied in Italy and introduced in countries where it is not yet there, first of all the cultural conditions must be created.

And that’s why on March 7 on the eve of International Women’s Day, Lauria’s Inner Wheel Club, led by Avv. Antonella Squillacioti, together with Lauria’s Rotary Club led by Dr. Luigi Cerrato, will deal with this delicate issue with a public meeting open to all citizens and local associations.

Speakers will include Dr. Gennaro Nasti, surgeon and member of the Rotary Club of Lauria and Avv. Antonella Blasi, a member of Lauria’s Inner Wheel Club.

Italo Grillo’s article –