Are 200 million women and girls in 30 countries around the world, especially in Africa, subjected genital mutilation. In Nigeria, until a few years ago, they were also practiced on newborn. A global phenomenon that has led the United Nations to convene, on February 6, the World Day on this theme.
According to the World Health Organization female genital mutilation can be divided into four groups depending on the severity of the effects: circumcision, excision of the clitoris, infibulation and finally a group that includes a number of various types of operations.
A problem that affects very closely even Europe, although banned in many EU countries. According Strasbourg, would be 500 000 women living in the continent and have been mutilated, 180,000 those at risk. Therefore they are not spared from this horrible practice migrant girls and adolescents living on European territory: most of them are subjected to mutilation when they return to the country of origin during holiday periods.
The European Union recognizes that many Member States have made significant progress over the years to prevent and fight the phenomenon. Efforts, however, often focused on the adoption of laws and on the punitive aspect, while there is still a lot of work on the prevention of the phenomenon that can only be achieved through a widespread awareness campaign involving the migrant community making women protagonists .
Even Italy is involved into: are 35,000, by one estimate of 2009, women who have undergone genital mutilation in our country.According to a study by the Bicocca University in Italy in 2010 they lived 57,000 women victims of genital mutilation, of these 27,000 in Lombardy, where there is greater concentration of communities from countries where this practice is still prevalent.
It is necessary, therefore, to cooperate with the original migrant communities in these regions, to fight female genital mutilation in Italy and Europe; involving politicians and institutions to combat the problem and raise awareness of the hazardous substances for migrant women and find solutions to prevent it. Increase public awareness and contribute to the reduction of the number of victims of these practices.These are the three major objectives of the project “After”, by ActionAid Tuesday, October 8, in Milan during the open day “From Africa to Europe: Fighting female genital mutilation”. Objective of the workshop: facilitate the exchange of practices and methods of work with foreign communities.
With this project “After” the good practices perfected in Africa will be used to eradicate the phenomenon in Italy and Europe, adapting it to different social context. It will last two years and aims to combat this form of violence through paths that lead women to become conscious of their rights and through the implementation of 16 training programs aimed at young women to refuse this practice and take awareness of their right to physical integrity and control over their own body.
A project that will also involve men and religious leaders. He also wants to inform European citizens about the existence of a problem that we often imagine far and raise awareness to do so. In the two years After the project will also be testimonies of African women active in the fight against mutilation in their countries and will be produced a documentary and ten video with testimony from religious leaders, women and African activists against these deplorable practices. Specifically, it will be done the mapping of policies and existing services to inform migrant women and girls about what the territory offers to protect their sexual and reproductive rights.
The project is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union and is implemented in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland in agreement with three organizations that are part of the federation ActionAid: ActionAid Italy to coordinate the work, ActionAid Ireland and ActionAid Sweden. At the base is also a large network of local associations, each of which will field its own experience of working with young migrants, scientific research and fight against female genital mutilation through the creation of documentaries and other communication products.