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EU funds to stop female mutilation
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Published on 06-03-13

To coincide with the International day of Zero Tolerance to female genital mutilation, the Commission has announced €3.7m (£3.2m) of  funding to help support member state' awareness raising initiatives of violence against women.  A further €11.4m (£9.9m) has been ear-marked for NGOs and those working with victims.  The Commission also launched a consultation paper to gather opinions on how best to develop EU measures to combat the harmful practice which has severe short and long-term physical and psychological consequences for the victims.

    EU funds to stop female mutilation

    The world’s leading anti-FGM campaigners, including ‘desert flower’ Waris Dirie, Khady Koita and Chantal Compaoré – First Lady of Burkina Faso - joined EU Commissioners Viviane Reding and Cecilia Malmström today (Wednesday) to call for zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (FGM) and discuss how the European Union can help member states to eradicate the practice – thought to have affected several hundred thousand women in the EU.

    An estimated 66,000 women in the UK are affected by FGM with a further 30,000 girls at risk, according to figures released by European institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).  The Institute also published a study looking at the situation across the EU27 and Croatia. 

    While all EU member states have legal provisions in places to prosecute the perpetrators of FGM, prosecutions are very rare due to difficulties detecting cases, gathering sufficient evidence, reluctance to report a crime and lack of knowledge about female genital mutilations.

    A series of good practices from nine member states are detailed in a separate report by EIGE which includes the specialised health service operating 15 African Well Woman clinics in the UK catering to the specific needs of women subjected to FGM.

    The Commission's consultation is open to EU member states and any organisation or person with an interest in gender quality issues, violence against women, female genital mutilation. 

    Deadline for responses: 30 May 2013.

    Support organisations in the UK include:

    Africa Advocacy Foundation

    Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid

    Black Association of Women Step Out

    Child Rights Information Network

    Daughters of Eve

    Equality Now

    FGM National Clinical Group

    Manor Gardens Centre

    Southall Community Alliance

    WomenKind World Wide

    Background

    Female genital mutilation is practised for various reasons related to religious beliefs, cultural identities, gender roles and social perceptions of sexuality, marriage or health, and is widespread in some specific African, Middle-East and Asian countries. Estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of women and girls living in Europe have undergone such mutilation and many more are at risk

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    Last update: 13/03/2013  |Top