Ernst Leads Effort to End Horrific Abuse Against Women and Girls

On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, a number of female senators are denouncing the harmful abuse as a violation of human rights

WASHINGTON – On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is leading the effort to eliminate FGM and fully denounce the harmful practice globally as a violation of human rights of women and girls. Ernst is joined in this effort by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Shelley Moore-Capito (R-WV), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

“Nearly three million girls across the globe are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation each year,” said Senator Ernst, a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence. “We must do more to protect young women from enduring this grotesque practice, and part of that effort is taking this day to raise awareness. While my colleagues and I have worked to increase penalties for perpetrators and prevent more women from becoming victims, this resolution is meant to keep those legislative efforts alive and declare the truth about this horrific abuse. I fully believe that, working together, we can end this degrading practice.”

Click here or on the image above for a video on Senator Ernst’s efforts to end FGM.

“Gender-based violence is the most extreme constraint on female empowerment—this obstacle remains the largest global epidemic ahead of women. It seems impossible that a painful practice like female genital mutilation could be allowed to happen in the United States. If we stay silent, more women and young girls will suffer from this egregious injustice,” said Senator Blackburn.

“These unspeakable and unforgivable crimes committed against young women must end and should not go unpunished. This resolution recognizes the need to have laws in place to fully eliminate these practices,” said Senator Hyde-Smith.

“In modern times, it’s almost hard to believe that worldwide 200 million girls and women have suffered this horrific, unnecessary experience. More must be done to end this violation of human rights. I’m proud to join my colleagues in denouncing this heinous practice and calling on the international community to increase efforts to eradicate it,” said Senator Loeffler.

“FGM is horrific and it has absolutely no place in any culture or country. Today I join with the Republican women of the Senate in condemning those who perpetrate this practice and standing up for the women and young girls around the world who suffer this abuse,” said Senator Fischer.

Background:

The resolution put forward today by Senator Ernst and her colleagues denounces female genital mutilation or cutting as a violation of the human rights of women and girls and urges the international community and the federal government to increase efforts to eliminate the harmful practice. It is endorsed by Independent Women’s Forum, Concerned Women for America, and AHA Foundation. Full text of the resolution can be found HERE.

This resolution builds off of the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2019  which Senators Blackburn, Ernst, Hyde-Smith, Capito, and Fischer put forward last year. This bill works to end female genital mutilation and ensure successful future prosecution of those who perpetuate this practice. The Female Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act is endorsed by Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Independent Women’s Forum, and the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.

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