More than just a ban needed to tackle female genital mutilation - Lynn Boylan MEP
Yesterday was International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Commenting on the debate in the European Parliament, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said from Strasbourg:
“This is not a day of celebration, but one to remind us of how far from over this struggle for the self-determination of women’s bodies is.
“Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM, is a barbaric cultural practice and constitutes a serious physical, psychological and sexual attack to women and girls across the globe, including Europe.
"It is agreed unanimously across political parties that this practice must be put to an end, but we need more than a simple ban to bring it to an end.
“In Ireland, we have seen both the practise and the number of women affected by the procedure increase significantly. The most recent data suggests that as many as 5790 women and girls who have undergone FGM are living in Ireland.
“The FGM Act 2012 in Ireland was an important step but more needs to be done. We must improve co-ordination between the affected communities and public services such as the Gardai, social workers, teachers and those in the health professions.
“I would also take this opportunity to once again call on the Irish Government to ratify and fully implement the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women without delay."