01 Feb 2018

Female Genital Mutilation is also a European issue

Female genital mutilation not only happens in distant countries, but also in Europe. Experts estimate there could be up to 6,000 victims in Austria alone.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Female Genital Mutilation is also a European issue - NewsMavens
Poster. Wikicommons.

Why this story matters:

Europeans perceive it as an exotic practice, one that only happens far away. As a result, they feel unconcerned. 

But, through migration, the 5000-year-old religious practice is being performed increasingly often in Europe. 

The affected girls -- many of whom are in kindergarten or pre-school -- would never think of seeking help, so it is the educators who should be made aware of the issue, says the spokesperson of the Austrian Platform against Female Genital Mutilation (StopFGM) Petra Bayr.

With this information in mind, it is obvious that more funding should be allocated to creating resources -- for example, trainings for social workers or information points for victims, parents and educators.

gender, women's issues

Details from the story:

  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to various interventions: the clitoris is cut, the labia is removed or the vagina is partially or completely sewn shut.
  • According to the World Health Organization, at least 200 million women and girls are victims of female genital mutilation. 
  • According to various organizations, the number of unreported victims is much higher.
  • The latest data is from 2016 and includes only 30 countries -- 27 of them in North and Central Africa, as well as Iraq, Yemen and Indonesia.
  • More than half of the 200 million victims live in only three countries: Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia.
  • There is no reliable data for Austria. Based on German surveys in Germany, it is thought there could be 6,000 victims in Austria.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy