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International Women's Day: Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation


Brussels, 06 March 2013 - 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.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström have today joined human rights campaigners to call for zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (FGM). The Commission organised a high-level roundtable event to discuss how the European Union can help Member States to eradicate the practice – thought to have affected several hundred thousand women in the EU. The Commissioners were joined by Members of the European Parliament and the world’s leading anti-FGM campaigners, including ‘desert flower’ Waris Dirie, Khady Koita and Chantal Compaoré – First Lady of Burkina Faso.

In parallel, today the Commission launched a public consultation calling for views on how best to develop measures at EU level to fight female genital mutilation. The consultation will run until 30 May 2013. The Commission has also announced EUR 3.7 million in funding to support Member States' activities to raise awareness of violence against women and a further EUR 11.4 million for NGOs and others working with victims.


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