European Parliament Urges European Commission to Step Up Efforts to Curb Female Genital Mutilation
Monday, June 6, 2005 4:35 PM

The Donors Working Group on Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (FGM/C) consists of public and private international agencies that advocate for the abolisment of FGM/C. It includes such organizations as the World Bank and the World Health Organization as well as the United Nations Childrens Fund. The Working Group met at the European Parliament for two days to discuss ways to coordinate action and increase support for the cause. The Working Group also developed a plan of action that targets certain countries in which more coordination of efforts is needed to eradicate FGM.

"Experts say that besides being a human rights violation, FGM represents one of the most harmful practices against girls and women’s health and dignity, and inflicts a lifetime of irreparable harm." Current estimates suggest that there are between 120 and 130 million women who have been subjected to this practice. While the European Commission has indicated its support for the Working Group and its efforts, the Working Group is now asking for stronger support, including support through monetary contributions. One member of the European Parliament is calling for the ratification of the Maputo Protocol, a human rights document that "requires signatories to "condemn and prohibit" all forms of FGM." So far, only a fraction of the countries that indicated support for the protocol have ratified it. The protocol currently has ten of the fifteen signatories required to enter into effect.

Compiled from:  Bianchi, Stefania "EU Urged to Act over Female Circumcision." Other News. 3 June 2005.