Legislation should provide that consent of any person of any age or by a minor's parent is not a defense to a violation of this statute. Focus of legislation should be on the empowerment of women to reject the practice of FGM and enabling a shift in the social norms that support the practice and pressure women into undergoing it for themselves or others. The practice of FGM is so entrenched in social norms and expectations that, without a shift in those underlying norms and individual beliefs, true informed consent to undergo FGM for adult women, completely free from undue pressure, is difficult to ascertain.

Illustrative Examples:

It is no defence to a charge under this section that the person on whom the act involving female genital mutilation was performed consented to that act, or that the person charged believed that such consent had been given.

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