Female genital mutilation (Istanbul Convention) (2019)
The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding European instrument specifically devoted to violence against women and an important step towards greater gender equality. It covers various forms of gender-based violence, which is defined as “violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately” (Article 3.d).
In Europe, many girls and women are affected or threatened by female genital mutilation (FGM), a fact that has long remained unacknowledged. They either run the risk of being taken to their parents’ country
of origin or of undergoing the procedure in a Council of Europe member state. For those affected, FGM leads to serious physical and psychological suffering, and will most likely have long-term health consequences. Those at risk of undergoing the practice are often very young and lack the means to say no.