“FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women”, according to the UN, adding that it constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, affecting those from 29 African countries, the Middle East and the female immigrant population in the Europe, North American, Australia and New Zealand.
The World Health Organisation says “Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
The two above organisations and others have also confirmed that the practise is almost always carried out on under-age girls and constitutes a violation of the rights of the child.
For these reasons the Adeje council will, this week, begin the distribution of the Female Genital Mutilation Handbook: Best Practices handbook published by the Spanish Confederation of Women on Equality via the borough’s libraries, education centres, health centres and in some municipal centres. The books are available in English, Spanish and French to ensure that the information reaches as many people as possible.
“In building a society based on equality we have to eradicate these kind of practises that discriminate against women; we cannot allow or assist or ignore the existence of these procedures that mutilate, not just women’s bodies, but their identity, their rights…” said the Adeje councillor for equality Carmen Lucía Rodríguez el Toro.
“With this initiative we are distributing a document that will explain why this procedure needs to be eradicated completely, and the devastating consequences that children and women are forced to endure”.
The handbook has been co-financed by the national departments of employment, social security, and the secretary general for immigration and emigration as well as the European Union. The book details the historical background to the practise, how it is carried out and by who and the consequences – physical, gynaecological, sexual and psychological, suffered by the victims. The book also examines the judicial situation in Spain (for instance parents who take children to another country for the procedure can be arrested/jailed upon returning to Spain with loss of guardianship of the child) and Europe as well as the different actions that can be taken towards the eradication of the practise.
Department of Communications