Millions of women around the world are today at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The cruel practice can take many forms, but generally involves the horrendous act of removing the clitoris, effectively scarring young women for life. Unfortunately, the practice often goes even further than that, causing severe pain and significant long-term problems, both psychological and physical.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 125 million women and girls are currently living with the consequences, and the problem is not limited to Africa! In Europe, 180,000 women per year are estimated to be at risk of being cut, and 500,000 girls and women have already fallen victim.
Today, on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we aim to raise awareness of the issue and call for an immediate stop to it. This is because the Greens believe in and fight for the right of women to be in full control of their own bodies.
On 2 February 2017, Green MEP Terry Reintkeraised the issue in the European Parliament, calling FGM “a deeply traumatising form of sexualised violence.”
She went on to say that “we must step up our efforts to fight against all forms of violence against women”, and called upon the European Commission and EU member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which aims to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence.
Given today’s political climate, we must more than ever take decisive steps not only against FGM but against all forms of violence against women.