Ahead of the Zero Tolerance Day for FGM, on 4 February, 3 - 4.30 pm CET, our colleague Eleonora Esposito, Seconded National Expert on Gender-based Violence, takes part in the End FGM European Network Zoom event “How do we end FGM? The Importance of Community Leadership” 

  • Register to attend the event here and join the Q&A session to find out more findings from EIGE's research and proposed actions.

The discussion will emphasize the role of the local communities in tackling FGM. Authorities and policymakers in Europe may still perceive FGM as primarily a religious issue, but the communities perceive FGM as a cultural and/ or traditional practice. This means that religious and community leaders should be engaged to speak against FGM, given their influential position in the community.

EIGE's studies which involved the members of the community show that attitudes are changing because communities have a greater awareness of FGM consequences. Second-generation immigrants tend to be more opposed than older generations.

There is still a lot of confusion in relation to the legislation and services available in and in their countries of origin. Affected communities are usually aware that FGM is illegal in Europe, but are not always aware it is also criminalised when performed abroad. There is also less awareness that FGM is frequently illegal in the very countries of origin.

One of our proposed actions is that FGM-affected communities must be involved in policymaking if they are to be truly engaged. Findings from our 2021 study noted the importance of ensuring community involvement throughout the policy life cycle, in the creation and implementation of policies.

For example, a good practice comes from the Somali community in Denmark. Somalis, have played a significant role in communicating the law around FGM and educating their communities on the negative consequences of FGM. This has been highly successful and has led to a change of attitude among many Somalis in the country.

More about EIGE's work on FGM

At the European Commission's request, EIGE has been producing in-depth reports, consulted with stakeholders and brought together experts the field. Since 2012, we have published 2 EU-wide reports, 28 country factsheets, a collection of good practices, a step-by-step methodological guide on how to estimate the risk of FGM.