End FGM EU was invited on 13 February, around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, to deliver the closing remarks at the International Congress on Female Genital Mutilation organized by our member Médicos del Mundo.
Our Head of Policy and Advocacy gave an overview of the main successes achieved over the past decade by the European movement to end FGM, as well as the major trends and challenges at the European level.
One of them is the issue of asylum, an area where women and girls affected by FGM do not find the same standards of protection everywhere in Europe but are left to the lottery of the country where they end up in. Another increasingly problematic issue is the rising of xenophobia and racism and the consequent instrumentalization of the fight against FGM. End FGM EU believes in the importance of working with communities and survivors to put them always at the centre of our work and change the narrative to be non-stigmatising and empowering.
Finally, we discussed the issue of the lack of harmonization of support services for FGM survivors in the European Union, and the need to implement the highest possible standards of care everywhere. Compared to 10 years ago the situation in Europe has much improved on many sides, especially in terms of legal and policy frameworks put in place which finally recognize that FGM is also a European issue. But now more than ever we need to join our forces and work in networks in an inclusive, intersectional and empowering way to overcome the obstacles that we are still facing to end FGM and support survivors.