Brava! But they will face an uphill battle, with opposition sure to come from Islamic clerics. “Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3.
“Women Finally Demand Law Against Genital Mutilation,” from MISNA, August 7 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Yesterday, some 700 activists, mostly women, have marched in favor of the introduction of laws to ban the practice of female genital mutilation (FMG) in Bamako. The demonstrators presented the request directly to parliament. The long overdue initiative, organized by the Coordination of women’s NGO”s in Mali, was repeated in other areas of the country, where more women also staged small gatherings. “The rate of FMG in Mali is very high, reaching some 92%” said Nicola Giovannini of the “No Peace without Justice” NGO to MISNA; the organization has been engaged in a vast campaign against female mutilation alongside Malian NGO”s. Giovannini said that in Mali, there is a strong political consensus for a law to ban the practice, but authorities have so far suggested that Malian society itself is not yet ready to penalize this terrible and very established practice. The participation in anti FMG protests suggests that there is an ever stronger — if long overdue – desire for change.