Nearly 125,000 women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in France: Report

The world marks February 6 as International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which aims at raising awareness and ending this sexual and sexist violence. The day is sponsored by the United Nations and was first introduced in 2003. 

In a presser by France Diplomacy – Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, it was mentioned that France has raised calls to end such violence immediately, which represents an “intolerable attack on women’s and girls’ bodily integrity and a severe and unacceptable violation of their rights”. 

The statement added that France’s feminist foreign policy is centred on equality between men and women, promoting the rights of women and girls, and combating sexual and gender-based violence. 

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Meanwhile, a report by FRANCE24 stated that nearly 125,000 women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in France. The report intends to shed light on the fight against FGM but it says that the subject remains taboo despite the creation of psychological and surgical care over the last 40 years. 

The practice of female genital mutilation includes cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia, clitoris, and inner labia. It is illegal in many countries, including France. The report mentioned that young girls are “often mutilated while on holiday abroad with their families”. 

The report mentioned that such incidents have increased during the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine. As quoted, Isabelle Gillette-Faye, who is a sociologist and director of GAMS said: “In Africa, some circumcisers have begun to re-adopt the ritual. Families do not have enough to eat, schools are being closed and the solution is to marry off their daughters.” 

GAMS means Group for the Abolition of Sexual Mutilation, Forced Marriage and other traditional practices harmful to the health of women and children. 

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