Women MPs of colour and across four political parties are banding together to ensure female genital mutilation is illegal in New Zealand.
A bill to clarify the legal definition of female genital mutilation has been introduced to Parliament and is jointly sponsored by Jo Hayes (National), Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Labour), Jenny Marcroft (New Zealand First) and Golriz Ghahraman (Green Party).
It is believed to be the first time that legislation has been introduced in the name of a number of MPs from across Parliament.
Ghahraman said that New Zealand did not currently ensure all practices of FGM were illegal.
"We know this has been falling outside of New Zealand law. No form of mutilation is acceptable. It is an abuse of girls and women.
"This bill is a testament to the staunch and persistent advocacy done by women in affected communities in Aotearoa, which as women parliamentarians we have listened to and are proud to bring into law."
She said the bill had come from the work of women from a range of impacted communities in New Zealand and across the world.
"What are we doing as legislators if we don't look out for some of our most vulnerable citizens? This change means that we are stepping up and helping to try and eliminate the cruel practice of female genital mutilation."
The bill is scheduled to have its first reading on December 4, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which follows the United Nations International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.