Female genital mutilation has affected some 140 million women and girls around the world and in Europe alone half a million of them live with the physical and psychological consequences of this practice. To raise awareness 6 February has been designated the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. The EP, which has long fought to end all violence against women, will debate what should be done about it in plenary on 10 February. Follow the debate live on our website.
Situation in the EU and the world
Female genital mutilation includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This could be done because of cultural, religious or social reasons, however, there are no health benefits.
According to the World Health Organization, some 140 million women and girls have suffered because of it, mostly in Africa and the Middle East. In the EU this number is believed to be 500,000 with a further 180,000 at risk of undergoing it during a stay in a country where this procedure is carried out. Every year thousands of women and girls from countries that practise female genital mutilation seek asylum in the EU.
What the Parliament is doing
The EP has long fought against all forms of violence against women, including female genital mutilation. Over the past years MEPs have adopted several resolutions, the latest one in 2014, calling on the European Commission and member states to do more to end this human rights violation.
On 10 February MEPs will ask Commission representatives what they will do to implement measures that already been agreed. These measures include funding for support services, protection of asylum seekers and the prevention of violence against women and girls in general.