The End FGM European Network welcomes the launch by the European Commission of the Gender Action Plan III (GAP III), an agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment in EU external action.
Firstly, End FGM EU appreciates the ambitious set of actions within the GAP III to scale up within the next five years the EU contribution to achieve SDG 5 of Agenda 2030. We also welcome the strong EU commitment to ensure internal-external coherence when advancing gender equality, by making sure that the GAP III on ensuring a gender equal world complements the Gender Equality Strategy focusing a gender equal Europe, which was launched earlier this year .
End FGM EU is very pleased to see emphasis placed on the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM), within the first two key areas of engagement on ensuring freedom from all forms of gender-based violence and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In particular, we welcome that the EU will contribute to the elimination of harmful practices such as FGM and CEFM, by supporting country, regional and global initiatives on:
- promoting prevention – by challenging harmful gender norms, working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a survivor-centred approach, also engaging men and boys, traditional and religious leaders
- strengthening women's rights organisations and social movements as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) working on the intersectional dimension of gender-based violence and on conflict-related sexual violence.
- enabling legal, political and societal environment that protects the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls and increase access to sexual and reproductive health services and information;
We thank the European Commission for having presented the Gender Action Plan III 2021-2025, that will guide the European Union’s external action for the next five years and we stand ready to support and monitor its implementation.