ALDE on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

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ALDE MEPs standing for FGM eradication

February 6 marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized as violation of the Human Rights of girls and women.

Half a million women in the EU and more than 200 million worldwide are living with the consequences of it and today many Members of the European Parliament have united their voices and efforts to raise awareness to this issue during this week’s Plenary Session in Strasbourg.

These are some key facts stated by the United Nations:

  • Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.
  • Girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM among this age in Gambia at 56 per cent, Mauritania 54 per cent and Indonesia where around half of girls aged 11 and younger have undergone the practice.
  • Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia 98 per cent, Guinea 97 per cent and Djibouti 93 per cent.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • The elimination of FGM has been called for by numerous inter-governmental organizations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as in three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.

“I want Member States to mainstream the prevention of Female Genital Mutilation into all sectors: health, social work, asylum, education, child protection and media. Cross-sectorial cooperation is the key! We need to unite forces to end FGM”, says MEP Angelika Mlinar, member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

MEP Angelika Mlinar

“The eradication of Female Genital Mutilation is a long journey that will only be successful if we focus on Human Rights defense and children protection. Prevention is the key”, says MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, substitute member on the same Committee.

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MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica

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