Govt Leadership on Female Genital Mutilation applauded

Govt Leadership on Female Genital Mutilation applauded

Wednesday 17 April 2013


The Australian Medical Association (WA) has congratulated Health Minister Kim Hames for his leadership in fighting to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation from Australia.


AMA (WA) Vice-President Dr Michael Gannon said the practice of FGM was not only unacceptable, but un-Australian.


In a statement to WA Parliament earlier this week, Dr Hames said he was the only State minister to have attended the first National Summit on FGM last week which was designed to eradicate this horrendous practice from Australia.


According to Dr Hames’ statement, there were 325 babies born to mothers who had been subjected to this practice between 2000 and 2011 in WA.


“I remind all West Australians that FGM is not appropriate and nor is it legal.”


As a result of the Summit on the practice, consistent national penalties will be developed and the legal definition of FGM will be clarified.


“On behalf of the AMA (WA) I congratulate Dr Hames for taking the lead on this important issue. For too long we have pretended it doesn’t happen to Australian children.


“Unfortunately it does – but it shouldn’t in a modern, 21st century Australia.


“This is not about religion or culture. This is about an unacceptable practice that is already against the law,” Dr Gannon said.


The AMA (WA) plans to work with the Health Department to help inform WA general practitioners.


“I also urge the WA Health Department to develop protocols and a system to allow doctors and members of the general public to report any examples of Female Genital Mutilation that they may see or be aware of,” Dr Gannon said.

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"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
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