HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION

 1        WHEREAS, the custom and tradition of some countries
 2   subjects girls and women to a procedure most commonly known as
 3   "female genital mutilation" but, also known as "female
 4   circumcision" and "clitoridectomy"; and
 6        WHEREAS, the procedure involves partial or total removal
 7   of the external female genitalia or other injury for cultural,
 8   religious, or other non-therapeutic reasons; it is a deeply
 9   rooted traditional practice that has severe health consequences
10   for girls and women; and
12        WHEREAS, the type of mutilation practiced and the age of
13   the female at the time it is performed depends on factors that
14   include the girl's ethnic group, country she lives in, whether
15   it is a rural or urban area, and socio-economic status; and
17        WHEREAS, the physical effects of genital mutilation can
18   lead to death; the immediate consequences include extreme pain,
19   shock, infection, hemorrhage, and damage to organs, and long
20   term health consequences include chronic urinary tract
21   infections, intermittent bleeding, infertility, kidney damage,
22   pelvic and reproductive tract infections; and
24        WHEREAS, the secrecy that surrounds the practice and
25   protection of the practitioners makes collecting information
26   about resulting complications very difficult; many girls and
27   women who have been traumatized by their experience have no
28   acceptable means of expressing their fears, and suffer in
29   silence; and
31        WHEREAS, more than 130 million girls and women worldwide
32   have been subjected to genital mutilation; and two million
33   girls are at risk annually, approximately 6,000 a day; and
35        WHEREAS, although female genital mutilation is practiced
36   most extensively in Africa, females who have been mutilated
37   also live in Asia, the Middle East, and are increasingly found

Page 2                                                     50
                                  H.R. NO.              

 1   in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States, primarily
 2   among the immigrants from these African and Middle Eastern
 3   countries; and
 5        WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has been actively
 6   involved in the fight to end this harmful practice by playing
 7   an advocacy role, emphasizing the importance of action against
 8   these harmful practices at international, regional, and
 9   national levels; supporting national authorities and
10   organizations involved in developing policies, strategies, and
11   programs; and developing training materials and training health
12   professionals in the prevention of female genital mutilation
13   and in managing its health consequences; and
15        WHEREAS, internationally successful fashion model Waris
16   Dirie was raised in Somalia and subjected to female genital
17   mutilation when she was only five to improve her marketability
18   as a bride; she recovered from her circumcision alone in a
19   small hut, taking two weeks to recuperate, living on food and
20   water brought by her mother; and
22        WHEREAS, after Waris Dirie told the story of her
23   mutilation as a child in a magazine interview several years
24   ago, the response was dramatic, and Ms. Dirie accepted an
25   invitation from the United Nations Population Fund to join the
26   fight to stop the practice; and
28        WHEREAS, Waris Dirie became a special ambassador for the
29   United Nations Population Fund and continues to tell her story
30   and speak out against this crime; and
32        WHEREAS, international organizations like the World Health
33   Organizations and individuals, including victims like Waris
34   Dirie, have gained the attention of political, religious, and
35   community leaders, creating support for the elimination of this
36   practice; and
38        WHEREAS, the efforts of the World Health Organization and
39   Waris Dirie have helped to change public opinion through
40   education and raising awareness about the harmful health
41   effects of female genital mutilation; now, therefore,
43        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
44   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
45   of 2000, that all members of the Legislature unequivocally
46   condemn the practice of female genital mutilation in all forms
47   and consider it unacceptable to use religion, cultural custom,

Page 3                                                     50
                                  H.R. NO.              

 1   and tradition, as excuses for violent acts against women, and
 2   especially young girls; and
 4        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all members of the Legislature
 5   express strong support for the efforts of the World Health
 6   Organization, Waris Dirie, and other international agencies,
 7   organizations, including the United Nations and Amnesty
 8   International, and the many committed individuals who are
 9   working together to end female genital mutilation; and
11        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
12   Resolution be transmitted to the World Health Organization, the
13   United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Population
14   Fund, Amnesty International, and Waris Dirie.
19                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________