Voice of Europe
Norwegian Minister of Justice Monica Mæland recently presented a new law, which if passed, would make it easier to hold parents accountable if it becomes known that their daughters have undergone genital mutilation – a practice common in many African countries.
But the new law has a disturbing loophole: parents can still mutilate their daughters and avoid penalty by claiming that they didn’t know that know the multination happened, or that it took place behind their back or against their will.
In one case which dates back to 2008, a Gambian couple was charged with mutilating their five daughters; however, because the father claimed he wasn’t aware that the mutilation took place, he and his wife were not prosecuted, Document Norway reports.
In the new legislation, “practitioners and staff in kindergartens, child welfare, social services, health and care services, schools, school recreation schemes and religious communities are penalized, who by notification or otherwise fail to seek to avert genital mutilation. The same applies to religious leaders and religious leaders in religious communities (§ 284, third paragraph).
Islam-critical journalist Hege Storhaug, has criticized the proposed piece of legislation, saying it, unfortunately, will fail to in its efforts to curtail the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation.
“A whole generation of girls born in Norway have been sacrificed for the sake of cultural relativism since the early 90’s. We are talking about thousands of girls,” Storhaug notes.