Our position

Every woman and girl has the right to live a life free from any form of Gender-Based Violence and be in a safe, peaceful and enabling environment where she can fully exercise her rights.

  • We advocate for an end to all forms of Gender-Based Violence, which manifests in different forms, including FGM.
  • We also want to ensure Survivors are protected and supported through a holistic approach.
  • We want to empower FGM-affected communities and provide them with a platform to speak out and to create change within their communities as well as influencing decision making processes.

What is the current status?

Council of Europe (CoE):

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women (Istanbul Convention) entered into force in 2014 and is the first legally binding treaty recognising that FGM is also a European issue.

The Council of Europe, through the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), periodically monitors the implementation of actions to combat Gender-Based Violence, at country level.

European Union (EU):

The EU addresses Gender-Based Violence and FGM through its competencies on equality and non-discrimination, as well as in its judicial cooperation in criminal matters competencies framework. The main EU policy frameworks in this sense are:

  • the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025;
  • the Victims’ Rights Directive and related Strategy 2020-2025;

The European Union has signed the Istanbul Convention in 2017 but has not yet ratified it. While pushing for the EU accession, the Commission is in the process of proposing new policies and legal frameworks to strengthen its fight against Gender-Based Violence and FGM (due in 2021). It is currently also negotiating on the budget that will be allocated to this as well as the programme priorities over the next EU financial cycle 2021-2027.

Check what we do to ensure that the EU ratifies the Istanbul Convention, together with our partners, here.

United Nations (UN)

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, a global campaign has been launched, called Generation Equality. This campaign addresses key thematic areas to advance gender equality the Action Coalitions to advance gender equality, including Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, which are relevant for endign FGM.

Our resources

Questions & Answers on the Victims' Rights Directive - Guide (2016)

Towards the National Implementation of the Istanbul Convention as a Tool to End FGM - Advocacy Toolkit (2019)

End FGM EU's Reaction to the Gender Equality Strategy - Press Release (2020)

(Access our Shadow Reports here: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain)

Want to know more? Have a look at our other areas of work: Asylum / Children's Rights / FGM as a global issue.