June 14, 2012
Amnesty International praises the European Parliament's commitment to end female genital mutilationToday, 14 June, the European Parliament called on the United Nations to officially ban Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) once and for all. The joint resolution passed with an overwhelming majority.
According to MEP Michael Cashman: “Female Genital Mutilation is an internationally recognized abuse of human rights, child rights, and women’s rights, but it can only be addressed if we recognize the holistic rights of women. And, yes, that is including sexual health and reproductive rights. The right of a woman to decide what to do with her own body.”
The number of women and girls in Europe affected by this horrific practice are quite high. At least 500.000 women and girls living in Europe have undergone the practice of FGM. An additional 180.000 are at risk.
Despite the well-known detrimental physical and mental consequences of FGM, it is a practice that is sustained by tradition and performed for purely non-medical reasons. It is an extreme form of gender discrimination.
The EP is urging the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution at its 67th session, which starts in September, to officially ban FGM worldwide. The African Union requested this initiative at the summit on 2 July 2011.
Amnesty International reacted very positively to the EP’s push to end FGM.
“... I hope that this show of commitment will be translated into action before more girls and women are exposed to this human rights violation”, concluded Dr Christine Loudes, Director.