International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

6 February 2013

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding will launch and present a new EU-wide study on female genital mutilation (FGM) on 6 March in Brussels. The study will provide an overview of the situation concerning female genital mutilation in the 27 Member States and Croatia. Female genital mutilation is high on the agenda of gender equality policy makers in the EU. It should be: it is a form of gender-based violence that continues to be, also in Europe, one of the most brutal and most difficult to combat forms of violence against women and girls.

The main objectives of the study are to fill the gaps in data and knowledge about female genital mutilation in the EU and support the development of strategies to combat FGM. One of the main conclusions is the lack of systematic collection of data on the prevalence of FGM in EU-27 and Croatia. Moreover, FGM-practising communities are insufficiently included in the development and implementation of policies on FGM, civil society organisations that are intensely involved in FGM prevention measures are seriously underfunded, and the knowledge about FGM among professionals who are in contact with girls and women at risk of FGM and victims of FGM is insufficient.

The European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE), being the European knowledge centre on gender equality issues, committed itself strongly to this study: it was carried out upon a direct request of Vice-President Reding. Female genital mutilation is a violation of the human rights of women and girls and a cruel form of gender-based violence. The European Commission’s ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2012 − 2015’ specifically mentions female genital mutilation as a harmful practice and a form of violence against women. In line with previous resolutions in which it strongly condemned female genital mutilation, the European Parliament adopted the ‘Resolution on ending female genital mutilation’ in June 2012.

With this report EIGE brings a unique added value for better informed policymaking concerning female genital mutilation. The results of the study will be published in a report entitled ‘Female genital mutilation in the European Union and Croatia’, together with country profiles in all EU-languages, good practices and a database on methods, tools and resources, made available on EIGE's website.

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updated on 06/02/2013, 15:25