Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe form of gender-based violence, leaving deep physical and psychological scars on the lives of victims around the world. It is a violent form of subordination affecting women and girls and it stands in gross contradiction to the principles of gender equality. Ending the practice will require joint efforts that engage communities — both women and men — policymakers and civil society, to ensure prevention strategies and awareness-raising campaigns work.

With this third study on FGM, EIGE is building upon previous work to complete the picture of the prevalence of FGM in Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta. One of the challenges for Member States is dealing with migratory flows from FGM-practising countries and the way to respond to asylum claims made on the grounds of FGM and organise reception conditions. A gender-sensitive asylum system is crucial to ensure victims and those at risk are protected upon arrival and given specialised care.

Our research captures the impact of migration on FGM in the European Union and gives essential insights into the factors motivating or discouraging the practice. While we might observe changes in attitudes and differences in the types of FGM performed, the underlying cause, rooted in gender inequality, too often remains deeply embedded in societies.