FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION has been banned in Ireland.
A bill outlawing the practice was passed by the Seanad this afternoon having already gone through all the stages in the Dáil.
As well as prohibiting the practice, the new legislation means anyone resident in Ireland who takes a girl abroad to have FGM performed will now be subject to prosecution in Ireland.
AkiDwA, the network of African and migrant women in Ireland which had campaigned for the legislation, said that the Bill sent a clear message to parents and guardians that FGM will not be tolerated.
Senator Ivana Bacik , who had first proposed the Bill, said that the legislation had been long overdue. Over 3,000 women living in Ireland are believed to have undergone FGM.
“International research shows the enormous dangers to the health of women and girls represented by the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation,” said Senator Bacik. ”This is a pressing issue in this country, particularly for migrant women and girls and their families”.
The Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill 2011 had taken almost two years to pass from the time it was first proposed as a private member’s bill in April 2010.