GUE/NGL MEP Malin Björk called for the work against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to be integrated into the more far-reaching work on combatting all forms of violence against women and girls during a debate in the European Parliament last night.

She said: “FGM is a terrible form of violence against women and girls and is part of a culture of patriarchal violence which takes different forms in different contexts. Patriarchal violence always has the same objective: to oppress women, to limit their space in life and to limit their presence in the public space. Violence against women and girls is deeply rooted in our traditions and FGM is a particularly bad example of it.”

MEP Björk called for feminist solidarity to launch joint work to benefit women and girls so that they can live a life free of violence.

“We have to look at the structural systematic patriarchal violence that goes all the way back to witch burnings and continues with the impunity rapists enjoy today,” she added. “Violence against women and girls is a crime against human rights and that's why the Commission needs to come back to us urgently with a legislative proposal to combat all forms of violence against women, including FGM.”

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