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Joint Statement ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Joint Statement given ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February 2022, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica, Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, joined together to reaffirm the EU's strong commitment to eradicate female genital mutilation worldwide and made the following statement:

“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and a violation of women's human rights. We must stop it.

There is no justification for such a horrific practice. There are, however, very serious negative consequences that affect the physical and mental health of women and girls, including infections, infertility and chronic pain. This practice puts the lives and wellbeing of thousands of women and girls at risk and in some cases it can even lead to their death.

While many communities have abandoned FGM and cultural norms are changing, leading to a decrease in FGM, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed progress towards its eradication. In times of confinement, maintaining access to prevention, protection and care services remain more important than ever.

Ending all forms of gender-based violence, including FGM, is at the heart of EU equality policies. Since the start of this Commission's mandate, we stepped up our actions in Europe and globally with the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 and the EU Gender Action Plan III. We presented a comprehensive Strategy on the Rights of the Child, which also sought to put an end to violence against children, including FGM. This year, we will present a legislative proposal to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence, as well as a recommendation on the prevention of harmful practices.

We cannot tolerate violence against women and girls.”

Click here for the full press release


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