EIGE’s new guide for estimating the risk of female genital mutilation

Ahead of the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has published an updated step-by-step guide to assess the number of girls at risk. The fine-tuned methodology will assist those responsible for carrying out risk estimations of female genital mutilation in a region or country of the EU.

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in all countries of the European Union but this does not mean that all girls are safe. EIGE has developed a new guide as part of its ongoing work to help Member States monitor the risk of FGM in their country and check if policies to combat the practice are working. We hope that this will guide national authorities in their efforts to end the practice,” said Virginija Langbakk, EIGE’s Director. 

EIGE’s unique methodology has 14 concrete steps that combines data and information gained from real life testimonials. Using both quantitative and qualitative elements gives a more accurate and comprehensive picture than using data alone. The updated guide builds on EIGE’s previous methodology, which was refined during recent research to estimate the risk of female genital mutilation in Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta.

The results showed that communities are starting to change their attitudes and turn away from female genital mutilation. Strong laws combined with a tough stance on prosecution are powerful deterrents, especially when family members know about the legal consequences. Awareness raising campaigns on the damaging effects on mental, sexual, and reproductive health also play a role in changing people’s attitudes towards the practice.

By offering a common framework to estimate FGM risk in the EU, EIGE wants to help Member States eliminate the practice and contribute to the production of comparable and up‑to‑date data across the EU. The European Union is strongly committed to eliminating female genital mutilation. Read more about the Commission’s activities to end FGM in this statement and MEMO.

Further information

For more information, please contact Veronica Collins, veronica.collins@eige.europa.eu or phone +370 521 57 449

Read our step-by-step guide

Read more about EIGE’s work on estimating the number of girls at risk of female genital mutilation

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