Check out our Advocacy news for Spring!

Let's review what happened in terms of anti-FGM Advocacy this first quarter of 2023!


After a long process, which started in 2016, we are close to the finish line: the European Union will ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).

In February 2023, under the Swedish Presidency, the Council formally requested the approval of the European Parliament to adopt the decisions on the ratification by the EU of the Istanbul Convention.

In essence, the Istanbul Convention is a “mixed agreement”: some provisions fall within the exclusive competence of the Union and others within that of the Member States. As already established at the time of signature in 2017, the EU will ratify the Convention for matters within its competence. For the rest, European countries retain their competences, provided that the convention does not affect the common rules of the EU.

The European Parliament is set to vote a statement in and the Council is set to finalise the ratification in the Justice and Home Affairs Council in early June.

UNFPA Executive Director visits Brussels

On 21st March the End FGM EU Director, Anna Widegren and the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Xheni Dani were invited to meet with Mr. Ib Peterson, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director - Management (DED-M). This was an opportunity to discuss joint cooperation and objectives in preventing and combating gender-based violence and ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health services, with a particular focus on crisis situation. End FGM EU highlighted that the 15 countries with the highest FGM prevalence rate include 9 countries suffering from humanitarian crises and/or defined as “fragile countries” but despite this FGM is not mainstreamed sufficiently in humanitarian interventions programmes. We insisted that FGM and GBV prevention and response should be thoroughly integrated in humanitarian actions and staff should be trained on how to identify people at risk and support survivors.

UNFPA is a strong partner for FGM affected-communities and we count on their increased efforts and collaboration to ensure we achieve SDG 5.3.

Coming up:

WOMEN DELIVER CONFERENCE 2023 – Kigali, Rwanda, 16-20 July

This summer End FGM EU together with its partners from the Global Platform for Action to End FGM/C and the Inter regional Coalition will have a delegation at the Women Deliver Conference.

A pre-conference focusing on FGM/C specifically is currently under preparation. More on that to come soon!

But meanwhile, we would like to map all the actors of the anti-FGM movement who will also be attending the conference, so please let us know if you are planning to be in Kigali, so we can make sure to coordinate our actions when there!

Stay tuned!

April 26 event with ILGA OIIE

On the 26th April, End FGM EU together with its partners OIIE, ILGA Europe and with the support of MEP Malin Björk (Sweden, The Left), will organise an event at the European Parliament, to discuss laws and policies criminalising FGM and IGM and understand the similarities between these harmful practices, both of which consist of serious human rights violations and should be prevented everywhere in the EU. This will also be an opportunity to reflect on the proposed Directive to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence and how it could be a useful tool to advance the elimination of FGM and all forms of gender-based violence.

The event will be held in hybrid format. More information to come soon!