Leela Sharon Aheer, MP for Chestermere-Strathmore. (Government of Alberta)
March 24, 2022 | 4:08 p.m.
To better protect the health and safety of women and girls, the Alberta government has announced measures to strengthen existing laws that prohibit female genital mutilation in the province.
If passed, Bill 10, the Health Professions (Protecting Women and Girls) Amendment Act 2022, would mean that health professionals who perform or facilitate female genital mutilation ( FGM) or female circumcision would be removed from the practice of medicine if found guilty. Government officials say medical professionals convicted of the crime in another jurisdiction would not be allowed to practice in Alberta. In addition, it would be mandatory to report FGM-related behavior to law enforcement.
“Female genital mutilation and cutting violates the human rights of women and girls around the world and can cause lifelong health problems,” says Leela Sharon Aheer, MP for Chestermere-Strathmore. “The coercive control of physical and psychological violence based on sex and gender must be eradicated. I am proud that this government is taking a stand to support survivors and ensure that no woman or girl will ever experience this debilitating practice in Alberta.
“This is the first jurisdiction to introduce professional legislation that directly addresses the issue of FGM,” Aheer added.