International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation.
On 20 December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/67/146 in which it
“Calls upon States, the United Nations system, civil society and all stakeholders to continue to observe 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and to use the day to enhance awareness- raising campaigns and to take concrete actions against female genital mutilations”.
In December 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote Resolution A/RES/69/150 “Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations”, callling upon member States to develop, support and implement comprehensive and integrated strategies for the prevention of FGM including training of medical personnel, social workers and community and religious leaders to ensure they provide competent, supportive services and care to women and girls who are at risk of or who have undergone FGM. The resolution also acknowledges that intensifying efforts for the elimination of FGM is needed, and in this regard, the importance of giving the issue due consideration in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.
The physical and psychological torture of FGM is a gross violation of Human Rights to Health, Security, and Physical Integrity of women and girls, and doesn’t conform with norms of a civil society. It reflects deep rooted inequality between sexes, hence, considered an extreme form of discrimination against women.
Hundreds of thousands of females across Europe, and millions across the World are a subject to FGM. An inhumane, unacceptable practice, that comprises all procedures (Traditional and Medical), that involves partial or total removal or injury to the external female genatalia or organs for non-medical reasons. (W.H.O.)
As we observe the International Day of a ‘Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation’ , we are all obliged to take a rigid stance to mark a Zero Tolerance Against this cruel practice.
FGM IN EUROPE
Female genital mutilation may have been found in certain parts of Africa, Asia and Middle East, but it is now being encountered in Europe as well.
Various services in EU member states, such as the health sector, social services and the police, have been confronted with FGM related issues.
Court cases in France where excisors have been sentenced suggest that FGM may be practiced secretly in certain European countries. However there is no evidence of the scale of the practice of FGM in Europe.
It is more likely that girls or girl infants living in European countries are taken to their countries of origin during holidays to be mutilated. Sometimes the girls do not return when parents fear prosecution upon their return to Europe.
In certain European countries (for example Belgium and Switzerland), research has shown that doctors also perform reinfibulation as they do not consider it as a form of mutilation or they think that it is safer that they carry out the procedure instead of traditional excisors.However, medicalisation of FGM in any form has been rejected by the European Parliament, WHO and professional organisations such as the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
What is the EU doing?
The EU has expressed a strong commitment to eliminating female genital mutilation. The European Commission Communication on eliminating FGM sets out a list of measures that the Commission will take in the coming years. Further information and Press Pack are available here;
The EU supports non-governmental organisations working to combat FGM at the grassroots level;
The European Institute for Gender Equality develops knowledge and provides resources on FGM.
Find out more
- Joint Statement on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation
- Capacity4dev: topic gender
- Capacity4dev: topic children
- EU development and cooperation
- European Parliament resolution of 14 June 2012 on ending female genital mutilation
- UN Resolution on intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation
- European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) website on female genital mutilation
- European Parliament resolution of 6 February 2014 on the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation’
- Justice and Home Affairs Council Conclusions of 5 and 6 June 2014 – “Preventing and combating all forms of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation”
- “Our daughters will not be mutilated” Euronews video explores one woman’s experience of genital mutilation and her fight to end the practice