On the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Etilda Gjonaj (Albania, SOC), General Rapporteur on Violence against Women of PACE and Co-ordinator of the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence, has called for universal prohibition of this extreme form of violation of physical integrity:
“FGM is still happening on our continent. It is the manifestation of the will to control women's bodies and their sexual lives, leading to the destruction of their intimacy, and has long-term physical and psychological consequences for survivors.
Article 38 of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention requires Parties to criminalise FGM, which includes coercing and inciting women and girls to undergo it. In a 2016 resolution, PACE underlines that FGM is an act of violence and a flagrant violation of human rights.
Council of Europe member states should prioritise preventing and combating FGM by establishing safe environments that allow girls and women to fully exercise and enjoy their rights. Supporting survivors, prosecuting perpetrators and raising awareness of the risks linked to FGM cannot be further delayed.“