Australia’s Highest Court Made Female Genital Mutilation Illegal In Every Form

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Australia’s most powerful court ruled that female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in all its “various forms.”

Australia’s Highest Court Made Female Genital Mutilation Illegal In Every Form

Australia’s most powerful court ruled that female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in all its “various forms.”


In a great victory for women’s rights, the judgment by Australia’s High Court recently alleviated the uncertainty and debate about the words ‘mutilation’ and ‘clitoris’ — that has previously allowed convicted individuals to be acquitted of their crimes.


Now, the ruling will negate the release of three people who, back in 2015, were found guilty of performing FGM on two girls, yet later had their convictions set aside because Australia’s Criminal Court of Appeal claimed thatthe trial judge had misinterpreted the two terms.


Former nurse Kubra Magennis, spiritual leader Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri, and the young girls’ mom allegedly performed “khatna” with the kids — which sees the cutting or nicking of a clitoris.


The trio claimed the girls didn't have their clitoris’ cut. They argued the ceremony was purely symbolic and involved "touching the edge of the genital area … allowing the skin to sniff the steel,” the ABC reported.



Nevertheless, Australia’s Criminal Court of Appeal overturned their conviction after finding that the word ‘mutilate’ means some “imperfection or irreparable damage” had to have occurred.


A further medical exam presented to the court revealed the tip of the clitoral head was apparent for both girls, which means it could be argued that the clitoris wasn't mutilated.


The High Court confirmed the phrase ‘mutilates’ has to cover the cutting of the clitoral hood. According to the court, the clitoral hood must also be considered a part of a woman's ‘clitoris’.


FGM is practiced around the globe.


Often believed to be a cultural tradition that helps girls become adults, the practice, in reality, causes significant health issues.


Earlier in 2019, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report that revealed 53,000 Australian girls and women born overseas had been subjected to the procedure. Approximately 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced some FGM, according to the World Health Organization.

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Thinking Humanity: Australia’s Highest Court Made Female Genital Mutilation Illegal In Every Form
Australia’s Highest Court Made Female Genital Mutilation Illegal In Every Form
Australia’s most powerful court ruled that female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in all its “various forms.”
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