11th December, 2020
A women’s rights group on Friday disclosed that over 2,000 women and girls in Germany were diagnosed and requiring treatment on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 2019.
The Task Force for effective prevention of FGM, as it refers to itself on its website, said that the figure was around 40 per cent higher than in 2016, according to a survey of physicians’ associations in Germany.
The survey showed that almost 200 of those diagnosed were minors – half of them younger than 12 years.
The survey included women and girls who received outpatient care by statutory health insurance providers.
Cases discovered during inpatient stays in hospitals or during private medical treatment were not included.
Taskforce’s founder Ines Runner said “what we see from these figures is only the tip of the iceberg and represents perhaps 2 to 5 per cent of the actual mutilation victims who live in our country.
“This was because political leaders do not want to complete data collection.’’
According to estimates, more than 20,000 girls are at risk of FGM because their parents come from countries with an FGM rate of over 75 per cent such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Mali and Somalia.
“We call for the implementation of state protective measures, such as regular medical checks and the introduction of mandatory medical reports to the law enforcement authorities if genital mutilation is found in underage victims,’’ said Runner.
FGM involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
It can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).