Deputy Speaker requests for revision on Human Rights Committee decision on FGM

Deputy Speaker of Maldivian Parliament and MP of North Galolhu constituency, Eva Abdulla | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – The Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Eva Abdullah on Wednesday, requested for revision of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission’s decision on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to get the opinion of the Islamic Ministry and other authorities.

[Female Genital Mutilation] does not warrant opinion. The Maldives Parliament should be investigating the extent of work against FGM and how to facilitate it further.

Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla

The Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday decided to get the opinion of the Islamic Ministry and other authorities following Dr. Iyaz’s support for female genital mutilation amid public calls to criminalize the human rights violation.

A bill was submitted to the Parliament’s Human Rights and Gender Committee today against a lecturer at Maldives National University (MNU), Dr. Mohamed Iyaz for encouraging “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM).

The case was submitted by Parliament Member for Galolhu Dhekunu Constituency, Meekail Ahmed Naseem to the Parliament’s Human Rights and Gender Committee, regarding a tweet by Dr. Mohamed Iyaz featuring an article on “Medical benefits of female circumcision” and encouraging the Female Genital Mutilation”.

MP Meekail stated that Dr. Mohamed Iyaz being an Assistant Professor of MNU and encouraging harmful practices for women is a danger for the women of Maldives, and it is an obstruction to the safety of women’s rights

During the Human Rights Committee meeting on Tuesday, MP Rozaina Adam said that it would be better to get the opinion of the Islamic Ministry on female genital mutilation so that they can come to a decision on the debate. Other members of the committee added go MP Rozaina’s request.

Following this, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Eva Abdullah said that this case is not something that needs further opinions and that their focus must be to acknowledge the current efforts to stop FGM and further support those works.

She added that she knows that the parliament cannot ask to change a committee decision, however, they can ask for the decision to be revised. So she asked for the committee decision on the matter to be revised.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This practice has no health benefits for girls and women. It is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and the World Health Organization (WHO) is strongly urges health care providers to not perform FGM.