On Monday night, the U.S. House passed a Florida congresswoman’s resolution opposing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and recognizing it “as a human rights violation against women and girls” without objection.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., introduced the resolution in February with U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Penn., as the main cosponsor. Almost 30 other members of the House, including U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, also cosponsored the resolution.
Frankel’s resolution overwhelmingly cleared the House on a 393-0 vote on Monday night. Twenty members, including U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Perry himself, did not vote.
“An estimated 200 million girls and women have been victims of FGM/C, with more than 3 million estimated to be at risk of being cut annually. The practice, a procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, is most common in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia and is associated with several traditions but is not tied to any one culture or religion. FGM/C even occurs in the United States,” Frankel’s office noted after the resolution was passed.
“Today we’re sending a clear message that every girl, no matter where she’s born, has a right to live free of violence,” said Frankel after the vote. “This bipartisan resolution recognizes that FGM/C is a gross human rights violation holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential.”
“We’ll continue to demand an end to the horrific practice of female genital mutilation/cutting, justice for its victims, and protection for our girls,” said Perry. “I’m pleased by the bipartisan effort and want to thank Congresswoman Frankel for her diligence to bring to the full House our resolution condemning the reprehensible and subjugating practice of FGM/C.”
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.