In the event of the eleventh International Day of Zero Tolerance, a UN sponsored celebration aimed at stopping female genital mutilation, MEPs urged the European Commission to step up their efforts to put an end to such mutilations.
"To deal with all forms of violence against women and girls including FGM must be a specific priority particularly at these times of crisis. We all know that austerity measures and cuts in social budgets and social service budgets have serious consequences for equality between men and women." Portuguese European United Left MEP Ines Cristina Zuber said on Thursday in Strasbourg.
Almost 140 million girls and women worldwide have undergone such mutilations, around half of them in Africa and Yemen. But the figures are also increasing in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States, mainly among immigrants from Africa and Southeast Asia, according to Unicef.