Up to 17% of girls from FGM practising countries living in Cyprus face the danger of female genital mutilation

A percentage of 12% to 17% of girls living in Cyprus are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) from a total number of 758 girls aged 0-18 originating from FGM practising countries, a report said.

According to a report carried out by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the largest communities from FGM practicing countries in Cyprus originate from Egypt, Sudan, Iraq and Ethiopia.

When designing targeted policies in Cyprus it important to take this reality on board, the report said. Anke Gittenqer, an EIGE expert, presented on Monday the report’s main findings, during a press conference held in Nicosia.

According to the report, men and women originating from FGM practising countries said their attitude toward this gross practise has changed since they migrated to Europe.

For this reason, EIGE says, it is of vital importance arrivals from FGM practising countries to be treated in a sensitive way.

The report found out that in 2017 Cyprus recognized 63 girls aged 0-19 from FGM practising countries, such as Somalia, Iraq, Egypt and Cameroon as irregular immigrants.

Corina Demetriou, representing Symfiliosi, the company which carried out the research in Cyprus, said women have expressed anger, showed serious depression and other forms of psychological disorders.

Cyprus has criminalised female mutilations since 2003 punishable with up to five years imprisonment, but there have been no data on FGM-related prosecutions so far, the report added.

Source: Cyprus News Agency