NEW YORK CITY—In a move hailed by feminists and liberals the world over, the United Nations General Assembly today passed its first resolution condemning female genital mutilation, a practice which involves removing a female's clitoris and labia, the intent of which, though most such operations are performed on young girls, is to make the woman she becomes less horny and more chaste.
The resolution was co-sponsored by more than 110 countries, including over 50 African nations, supported by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Cesare Ragaglini, Italy's UN ambassador, described the resolution as a "powerful tool" to use against countries and societies that continue to perform the mutilation, because he expected that the resolution will encourage more conversation and debate on the issue, and empower those calling for stricter enforcement of the ban.
"We will continue to spare no efforts with a final objective: ending female genital mutilations in one generation," Ragaglini said. "Today, this goal appears closer than ever."
It is estimated that three million girls and women are forced to undergo the procedure every year, which often is done in non-sterile conditions and is usually performed, without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor or scissors. More than 140 million women worldwide have had the operation.
According to a report on the Guttmacher Institute website, "The debate over female circumcision is relatively recent. The practice was rarely spoken of in Africa and little known in the West until the second half of this century. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, African activists and medical practitioners brought the health consequences of female circumcision to the attention of international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). Still, it was not until 1979 that any formal policy statement was made."
A list of countries where female genital mutilation is still performed can be found here.