The agencies expressed their concern about the “medicalization” of the practice, whereby it is performed by health professionals in health facilities, and the belief that it enhances a girl's chastity and chances of marriage by controlling her sexuality.
On 7 April 2008, Inés Alberdi was appointed the new Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). However, the appointment has sparked criticism from women's rights activists who had campaigned for a candidate from the developing world
In a recent press release, Article 19, an independent human rights organisation, voiced its concerns over a proposal at the Human Rights Council to prevent the examination of issues involving "defamation of religion".
Yakin Ertürk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, hailed progress in Saudi Arabia on advancing the status of women but urged more action to prevent gender-based violence and raise their profile in public life.