Stop FGM: “Female Genital Mutilation: information and services to immigrant women. From the Cairo Conference to national and regional initiatives.”

Bologna, 27-28 October 2003

The Conference audio-video broadcast by Radio Radicale

Rome, 29 October 2003 – Yesterday morning, the activities from the workshop “Female Genital Mutilation: information and services to immigrant women. From the Cairo Conference to national and regional initiatives” came to an end. The event was organised by No Peace Without Justice with the support of the Emilia-Romagna Region. After tackling the problematic analysis of FGM legislation and the possible evolution of the existing legal instruments during the workshop held from the 21 to 23 June in Cairo, the aim of the Bologna meeting was to examine the FGM situation also in countries of immigration, such as Italy, and provide a further opportunity to discuss the prospects of the law currently under discussion in the Italian chamber of the Deputies. The first part of the workshop was dedicated to an in depth-analysis of the phenomenon by an anthropological point of view as well as its examination on an international level.  The first part of the seminar was dedicated to the phenomenon of FGM from an anthropological perspective and analysis at an international level, as well as techniques for the reconstruction of the external genitalia of women who have undergone FGM.  The round table, chaired by the Radical Member of the European Parliament and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), Gianfranco Dell’Alba, was attended by Patrizia Paletti Tangheroni, Franca Chiaromonte and Luana Zanella (Italian deputies), Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament currently engaged in an international campaign called “StopFGM”, in collaboration with NPWJ, Aidos and eight other African NGOs.  Participants expressed willingness to work together to make the necessary amendments to the law in question to ensure it has a maximum possible effect relative to the limited data available on the extent of the phenomenon.  To this end, Emma Bonino reaffirmed the feasibility of measures that would allow for steady monitoring of the true extent of the problem by establishing, for example, an FGM Observatory operating analogously to an immigration observatory. She also reiterated the importance of a legal framework which on the one hand establishes the practice as unequivocally illegal, and on the other serves as a legal tool to enable migrant women to protect their rights and those of their daughters. The workshop closed its activities with the launch of a survey conducted by the Emilia-Romagna Region regarding the spread of FGM in the immigrant population in the region and a multimedia show by “Fabrica” called “Because you are a girl”.