Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has said initiating rituals such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) must not be tolerated and that greater education is central to spreading awareness.
According to Action Aid, it is estimated that close to 6,000 women and girls in Ireland have been subjected to the harmful practice.
Commenting today on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, Senator Clifford-Lee said, “It is incomprehensible for many of us to understand that female genital mutilation is a ritual that is still carried out in this day and age.
“In recent years, trends in migration have formed a complex web of global movement. In 2015, the United Nations predicted that the number of female migrants had reached 32 million. With migration comes the exchange and greater awareness of cultural practice and in that process we have a duty to call out and oppose practices that clash so fundamentally with our values and respect for all citizens.
“FGM is one such practice. It is a grotesque abuse of women and girls and Ireland must play its role in highlighting that fact and working to eradicate it through proper public awareness.
“It is essential that we educate migrant men, women and girls on the serious, life altering health complications in order to work towards eradicating the practice.
“FGM is prohibited in Ireland and it is a criminal offence for a person in Ireland to take a girl to another country for this purpose however, Government must ensure more effort is made to support women affected,” she concluded.