Posted on February 21, 2006

Nine of 10 Malian Women Suffer Genital Mutilation

Reuters, Feb. 21, 2006

BAMAKO — More than 90 percent of Malian women have suffered genital mutilation, a European parliamentarian told a conference on Tuesday calling for an end to the potentially fatal practice.

Mali, which signed the Maputo Protocol last year calling for states to ban and punish female genital mutilation, plans to outlaw the custom.

“Here in Mali, despite a long fight, mutilation affects more than 90 percent of women,” Emma Bonina, a member of the European parliament and founder of the No Peace Without Justice non-governmental organization, told the 200-strong conference.

“The government and the parliament are leaning toward putting into practice the Maputo protocol and a law banning excision.”

Mali, a Muslim nation in Africa’s arid Sahel belt, is one of the world’s poorest nations with more than 90 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day.