Answer – UNICEF's selectiveness in investigating female genital mutilation (FGM) – E-011313/2015

The Commission is committed to ending violence against women, including female genital mutilation (FGM), through the Women’s Charter(1), the strategy for equality between women and men(2), the 2013 Communication Towards the elimination of FGM, and its external action and development cooperation policies.

Externally, the Commission supports advocacy for the improvement of national legislation and policies for the protection of women’s rights and the prohibition of harmful practices, especially in the 77 partner countries where women’s and girls’ rights have been highlighted as a priority.

Currently, no funding is allocated to Unicef to combat FGM; the last programme was concluded in 2012. However, the Commission is about to finalise the Annual Action Programme 2015 under the ‘Global Public Goods and Challenges’ programme of the DCI(3) which inter alia proposes to support the Joint Programme on the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Accelerating Change for which UNFPA and Unicef are envisaged as implementing partners, subject to conclusion of the necessary delegation agreement.

These programmes will focus their activities in the countries where the incidence of the practice itself is the highest, i.e. the most affected countries in Africa and Yemen. Several non-governmental organisations working on FGM are denouncing the practice in some Asian countries and also among some Latin America indigenous peoples, but no official data is available. The United Nations are aware of this and plan to conduct large scale studies in Asia: questions about FGM will be included in regular domestic household surveys or MICS (multiple indicator cluster surveys); the first new country where this will happen is Oman.

(1) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52010DC0078&from=EN
(2) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1396540108305&uri=CELEX:52010DC0491
(3) Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020, OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 44.

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