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International Day against Female Genital Mutilation

On the occasion of the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation, Italy reaffirms its unconditional commitment to the elimination of this odious form of violence, which has very serious and irreversible consequences on the physical and psychological development of the girls who are its victims, and constitutes an enormous obstacle in the process towards gender equality and female empowerment in societies where such practices are present. According to the latest UN Secretary-General’s Report last July, at least 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation and more than 4 million girls are at risk of undergoing it every year.

Combating all forms of violence against women and girls is one of the priorities of our current mandate in the UN Human Rights Council. We are working in this direction, both within the framework of the competent international organisations, starting with the negotiations in the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, and in bilateral relations with interested third countries, and in the field, with Italian Cooperation projects. We are in fact one of the main donor countries involved on this front and Italian legislation on the prevention and prohibition of female genital mutilation practices is considered a best practice at international level.

We believe that combating this phenomenon requires an all-encompassing and multidisciplinary approach, which takes into account the link between these unacceptable practices and gender inequality, and which is not limited to prohibition but also promotes integrated policies – including raising awareness and responsibility in the countries and local communities concerned – so that this odious phenomenon is no longer tolerated at a social level.