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Strong opinion on an EU initiative on female genital mutilation - EC Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men

(Brussels, 17 September 2013) The European Commission Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has just published its opinion on an EU initiative on female genital mutilation (FGM). The EWL warmly welcomes the opinion, which recognises that FGM "is part of the continuum of violence against women and constitutes an obstacle to equality between women and men, a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. It has severe short and long-term physical and psychological consequences.
As such, FGM stands in opposition to the EU principles, in particular
respect for human rights, equality between women and men, and the EU’s duty to protect human dignity and the rights of the child."

The EWL supports the call expressed in the opinion to see interventions to end FGM addressed "in a holistic and comprehensive
manner in the context of overall intensified efforts to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls and advance gender equality." As said in the opinion, "The EU should design and implement a comprehensive, coordinated, systematic strategy to end all forms of violence against women, based on human rights and gender equality principles."

The European Parliament is currently discussing a report on violence against women, and the EWL hopes to see a strong message whereby all forms of violence against women would be considered a high priority at EU level, to be addressed in the framework of the EU Strategy on Gender Equality.

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