The Ministry of Justice, on Friday, 15th September 2023, received a delegation from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), composed of the Network against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Think-Young Women and The Girls Agenda, Female Lawyers Association among others, at the Ministry’s conference room.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues related to sexual and gender-based violence and the recent debate by some members of the National Assembly to repeal the section of the Women’s Act, which currently prohibits and criminalizes Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Addressing the delegation, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Mr. Hussein Thomasi, assured them of the Ministry’s full support, while acknowledging the importance of this legislation in safeguarding the rights and well-being of women and girls, and the gravity of the issue at hand.
He said FGM is a grave violation of human rights and his office is dedicated to continue reinforcing legal measures to prevent and combat this harmful practice. He also went further to emphasize the need for comprehensive education and awareness creation to change societal norms, culture, and attitudes that perpetuate FGM.
“This vital legislation protects the fundamental rights and well-being of women and girls, and repealing it would be a grave injustice and a step backward in our commitment to gender equality and human rights. We must stand firm in upholding these protections and ensuring the safety and dignity of all women and girls,” he said.
He further reiterated his Ministry’s unwavering commitment to maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards violence against women and the girl child, especially in relation to FGM, while emphasizing the need to hold perpetrators of gender-based violence accountable for their actions through the justice system.
In conclusion, he expressed gratitude to the CSOs in attendance for their dedication to ending sexual and gender-based violence and their continued commitment to the protection of women and girls and assured them of his Ministry’s commitment to continuously work closely with CSOs and other stakeholders to ensure that the Act remains relevant and practical.