A Bill to clarify the legal definition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been introduced to Parliament by women MPs from the Green Party, New Zealand First, Labour, and National working together as members of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians New Zealand Group (CWP).
The Bill has been jointly sponsored by Jo Hayes MP (National), Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP (Labour), Jenny Marcroft MP (New Zealand First) and Golriz Ghahraman MP (Green Party).
“ Today we begin the process of ensuring the Crimes (Definition of Female Genital Mutilation) Amendment Bill is updated so that New Zealand meets what the World Health Organisation classifies as harmful practice. We know this has been falling outside of New Zealand law. No form of mutilation is acceptable. It is an abuse of girls and women,” said Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman
“This Bill is a testament to the staunch and persistent advocacy done by women in affected communities in Aotearoa, which as women Parliamentarians we have listened to and are proud to bring into law”.
“This is the first time that legislation has been introduced in the name of MPs from across parliament, so it is particularly meaningful that it was done by CWP to collaborate on issues relevant to the empowerment of girls and women.”
“The change signalled in the Bill has come from the work of women from a range of impacted communities here and across the world. I would like to acknowledge the work of the FGM Education Programme who continue to engage with communities in Aotearoa.”
“What are we doing as legislators if we don’t look out for some of our most vulnerable citizens? This change means that we are stepping up and helping to try and eliminate the cruel practice of female genital mutilation.”
Media contact: Green Party media team 021 862 454
Notes for editors
The Bill will be open to submissions from interested groups and individuals and will have its first reading on 4th December as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which follows the United Nations International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November.