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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 800

Senator URQUHART (TasmaniaOpposition Whip in the Senate) (15:41): At the request of Senator Moore, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges female genital mutilation (FGM):

   (i) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for nonĀ­-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women,

   (ii) reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, and

   (iii) violates women and girls' rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death;

(b) recognises that a commitment to promote the abandonment of FGM will require:

   (i) a coordinated and systematic effort that will engage whole communities and focus on human rights and gender equality, and

   (ii) communities to act collectively to end the practice, as well as address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences; and

(c) notes that:

   (i) globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM,

   (ii) FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 and that girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut,

   (iii) FGM can cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths,

   (iv) the Sustainable Development Goals calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, and

   (v) the elimination of FGM has been called for by numerous inter-governmental organisations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as in three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.

Question agreed to.