Joint Statement – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
February 7, 2022
On the occasion 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.“