Activists, Spanish government say 17,000 girls of African descent at risk of female genital mutilation

Educational campaign materials about female genital mutilation. Archive photo: El Periódico
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• Activists say girls under age 15 at risk in Spain may number up to 24,000 •

Spain’s government Council of Ministers issued a resolution on Friday on the eve of the United Nations’ International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, calling attention to Spain’s criminalisation of the practice of female circumcision, which carries strict punishment guidelines in Spain as a result of its categorization under the penal code as both gender violence and aggravated assault.

According to the Spanish government, there are currently as many as 17,000 girls of African descent who are resident in Spain and are at risk of their families having the practice carried out on the girls against their wishes. An independent estimate from experts at the Fundación Wassu of the Autonomous University of Barcelona says the number of at-risk girls under the age of 15 living in Spain could be as high as 24,000.

Global activities around  International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Saturday saw activists against female circumcision in Spain seeking to draw attention to the practice, including Bissau-born Fátima Djarra Sani, who works with Médicos del Mundo Navarra and has just published the story of her personal struggle to overcome genital mutilation, Indomable. De la mutilación a la vida (‘Indomitable: From Mutilation to Life’).

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at El Periódico and …

► Read about Fátima Djarra Sani’s story in Spanish at El País …

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