Viviane Reding, European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, announced on Monday 1 March that she planned to take measures to harmonise sanctions throughout the EU in order to combat genital mutilation.
„Female genital mutilation is a brutal crime that cannot be accepted, either in the European Union or anywhere in the world„
, she said at the 54th session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women.
On Friday 5 March, she will present a “Women’s Charter”, followed by the publication of a comprehensive “Gender Equality Strategy”, which will include a “multi-disciplinary package of actions, which may include European level harmonisation of criminal offences and sanctions in the field of female genital mutilation”.
Over 25% of women living in Europe have suffered physical violence at least once in their adult lives and 10% have suffered sexual violence. Every day, some 6,000 women in the world fall victim to genital mutilation.