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Clinton Holds Press Conference Marking International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, recognized on February 6, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “said … that there is no cultural justification for female genital cutting, a practice that is sometimes referred to as female circumcision,” and that “governments and non-governmental organizations are making progress toward ending female genital mutilation, or FGM, by reaching out to those who still practice it,” VOA News reports (Stearns, 2/16). “The press conference was intended to highlight the continuing need for policy changes and new strategies to end FGM and promote support for women who have undergone the procedures,” ABC News writes (Conley, 2/16).

“She said many cultural traditions no longer exist because they are no longer acceptable.,” VOA’s “Breaking News” blog writes, adding, “She says female circumcision has no medical benefits and is simply a human rights violation” (2/16). “The Secretary of State also announced a partnership with the University of Nairobi to fund a pan-African Center of Excellence in Kenya to advance African research to address female genital cutting,” ABC writes (2/16). The news service provides a video report on one woman’s efforts to end the practice in West Africa (2/16).