50,000 women in Germany have suffered genital mutilation: report

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50,000 women in Germany have suffered genital mutilation: report
A Somali teenager in hospital due to the consequences of an FGM operation. Photo: DPA

Thousands of girls in Germany face genital mutilation on top of the tens of thousands of women who have already suffered it, a new government report claims.


The study, published on Monday by the Family Affairs Ministry, found that 48,000 woman and girls living in Germany have been victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), an increase of 30 percent since 2014.

According to the authors, between 1,600 and 5,700 girls in Germany are faced with undergoing the illegal operation to remove external parts of their genitalia.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported other estimates which claim that up to 9,000 adolescent women face having this illegal operation.

The German government has pledged to clamp down on the practise by raising awareness about its dangers and pursuing it diligently through the courts.

Most of the women living in Germany who have suffered FGM originate from Eritrea, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia or Iraq.

The number of women from these countries living in Germany increased by 40 percent between 2014 and the middle of 2016.

“FGM is a serious breach of a person’s human rights. It causes unbelievable physical pain as well as psychological damage,” said Ralf Kleindiek, state secretary in the Family Affairs Ministry.

According to German law, FGM is also illegal when it is carried out abroad, in order to prevent parents from taking their daughters back to their home countries to have the operation carried out there.

Since December, German authorities have been allowed to take passports from parents whom they suspect of taking their daughters abroad to have the operation performed.


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