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
FGM National Clinical Group
Manor Gardens Centre
Southall Community Alliance
WomenKind World Wide