In the News

17 February 2012

'Cultural Tradition' is No Excuse for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talking about the progress toward ending female genital mutilation/cutting.

WASHINGTON, D. C. --- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that there is no cultural justification for female genital cutting, a practice that is sometimes referred to as female circumcision.

Secretary Clinton says governments and non-governmental organizations are making progress toward ending female genital mutilation, or FGM, by reaching out to those who still practice it.

In those societies, it is often justified as a way to protect a girl's purity and cleanliness. Although Clinton said many cultural differences must be respected, this is not one of them.

"We cannot excuse this as a cultural tradition. There are many cultural traditions that used to exist in many parts of the world that are no longer acceptable. We cannot excuse it as a private matter because it has very broad public implications. It has no medical benefits. It is, plain and simply, a human rights violation,” Clinton said.

Read the full story from Voice of America