On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), on 6 February 2023, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Demography and Democracy, 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 is a human rights violation and a form of violence against women and girls. FGM has no health benefits and causes life-long harm to women and girls.
It affects over 200 million people worldwide, including 600,000 living in Europe. We must take determined action to enforce change and eradicate this practice if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (target 5.3) deadline of Zero FGM by 2030.
Transforming social and gender norms by partnering with men and boys is crucial to ending FGM. The EU has been supporting the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation with €18.5 million since 2016, establishing 1,758 male alliances.
It is noteworthy that the Commission proposed EU-wide rules to combat violence against women last year. The new rules will include the criminalization of FGM throughout the EU. This year, we will also present a recommendation on how to prevent harmful practices against women and girls in the first place.
Moreover, as of March, police and border guards will be alerted when dealing with women at risk of gender-based violence, including FGM, thanks to the upgraded Schengen Information System.
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