Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

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Portugal – 80 cases of female genital mutilation in a year

in News · 08-02-2018 13:48:00 · 1 Comments

Portugal recorded 80 cases of female genital mutilation during the year spanning January 2016 to January 2017, according to figures released on Tuesday morning by UNICEF, and all reported cases involved adult women, except for one 17-year-old girl.

Portugal – 80 cases of female genital mutilation in a year

The overwhelming number of victims were nationals from former Portuguese colony Guinea-Bissau, followed by nationals of Guinea-Conakri, Eritrea, Senegal, Nigeria, Gambia and Egypt, in much lesser figures.
In a joint statement, the Executive Directors of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) Natalia Kanem, stressed that female genital mutilation is “a violent act that causes infections, illness, complications at birth, and even death.”
“A cruel practice that inflicts emotional damage for a lifetime and affects the most vulnerable and least powerful members of society: girls up to 15 years of age. A violation of human rights that reflects and perpetuates the devaluation of girls and women in too many parts of the world”, they added.
They also consider that it constitutes an obstacle to the well-being of communities and economies.
Both representatives said in their statement that in the countries where they have implemented projects, girls are now one third less likely to be subjected to this practice than in 1997.
“More than 25 million people in some 18,000 communities in 15 countries have publicly rejected the practice since 2008. Globally, its prevalence has declined nearly a quarter since 2000”, the statement said.
However, estimates indicate that by 2030, more than a third of all births worldwide will occur in the 30 countries where female genital mutilation is practiced.
“If there is no accelerated progress to protect the growing number of girls at risk, millions of them could be cut in those countries by 2030”, they warn.
In the information released on Tuesday, the organisations recalled a study conducted in 2015 by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon, according to which, in Portugal, the number of women of childbearing age who may have undergone the practice stood at 5,246.
Taking into account all women over the age of 15, that figure rose to 6,576, “which corresponds to 49 percent of the number of women residing in Portuguese territory, born in practicing countries.”
The figures were released to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which is held every year on 6 February.
The day is observed as a way to raise awareness about female genital mutilation/cutting and to galvanise support to end the practice. 

Comments

This revolting practice should be banned and punished with stiff sentences in the EU. It is not just “emotional” damage these women suffer. They have the clitoris removed, and can never have a complete orgasm. The procedure denies them their full womanhood, leaves horrible scars and may cause health complications for decades. All this is aimed at men being able to control women, keep them in “their place”, make them summissive and faithful to their husbands. It is shameful that we allow this to happen in the 21st century.
by Judith Irwin from Beiras on 09-02-2018 05:29:00

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Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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