Eliminating female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an unacceptable violation of human rights and of the rights of women and girls. It is a specific form of violence involving procedures including the partial or total removal of the external genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The practice has severe short- and long-term physical and psychological consequences for the victims.
There is no reliable and comparable data on the prevalence of FGM at EU level. It is estimated however that the largest groups of women and girls originating from countries in which the practice of FGM is rife live in the following EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
In the vast majority of EU countries, FGM is considered to be a crime. In addition, in some countries, a principle of extra-territoriality renders it possible to prosecute the practice even when it is committed outside of the country’s borders.
News - European Commission publishes Communication on eliminating FGM
What is the EU doing?
- Council Conclusions on Preventing and combating all forms of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation (2014)
- The EU has expressed a strong commitment to eliminating female genital mutilation
- The EU supports projects in non-EU countries with a high prevalence of FGM
- The European Institute for Gender Equality develops knowledge and makes resources on FGM available
- The EU supports non-governmental organisations working to combat FGM at the grassroots level
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
Euronews video explores one woman's experience of genital mutilation and her fight to end the practice