by SENATOR MICHAELIA CASH
Female genital mutilation.
As Australian women, these three words make us recoil in horror.
However for millions of young girls around the world, these three words represent an abhorrent act which will change their lives forever. And no, not for the better.
Just three days ago, West Australian police charged a couple with subjecting their baby daughter to genital mutilation.
This from The West Australian:
Child abuse squad detectives charged the parents – a 44-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman – under Section 306 of the Criminal Code, which makes all procedures involving part or total removal of female genitalia or injuries to the female genital region for cultural or non-therapeutic reasons an offence.
It will be alleged the procedure took place during a holiday in Bali on August 25. It is understood the couple live in Perth’s northern suburbs and the girl is understood to be in good health. The penalty for the offence if committed in WA is 20 years.
The practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
The practice, which varies from country to country and between regions, involves partial or total removal of the clitoris, or excision of any other part of the genitals including the labia majora and labia minora, or any other kind of mutilation of the genitalia.
Perhaps one of the worst aspects of this practice is that it is mostly carried out on girls up to the age of 15. An estimated 100-140 million women have experienced genital mutilation worldwide and three million girls are estimated to be at risk of undergoing the procedure every year. Deformed and in pain, these girls are denied any kind of real childhood.