In Mali, one of 6 African countries where there is currently no anti-FGM law (see the thematic sheet of this discussion) work is ongoing to prepare a file for the ECOWAS Justice Court (Economic Communiyy of the States of the West Africa) and file a lawsuit against the State of Mali.
A meeting was organised on Saturday, July 27th 2019, by AMSOPT and Equality Now, as well as other Malian actors committed to the abandonment of the practice of excision. This new strategy was adopted as a result of advocacy work that didn’t a favorable enough response. The hope is that the ECOWAS court of justice will put pressure on the government of Mali to legislate against FGM.
« Our action aims to prepare the case against Mali in the ECOWAS court concerning the lack of legislation against FGM / C in Mali. More specifically, we want to initiate a lawsuit against the State of Mali to get it to legislate against FGM / C. It is important to remember that the fight against FGM / C in Mali began in the 1960s; so we spent more than 50 years informing and educating Malian women about the harmful effects of excision on health and also about the fact that it affects human rights. Despite our great efforts, the national rate of the practice of excision is estimated at 91% according to demographic and health survey, 5th edition.
In addition, Mali has signed and ratified all conventions and treaties at the regional and international levels that protect women and children: CEDEF, CDE, ACRWC, Maputo protocol, etc. Notwithstanding these commitments, Mali has not passed specific legislation that prohibits the practice of excision, so that some families from neighboring countries that have legislated in this area come to excise on our territory. »