Terre de Femmes -- a European women’s rights group -- say that more there are more than 13,000 girls in Germany whose families plan to subject them to genital mutilation. This represents an increase of 4,000 over 2016, according to the group. Charlotte Weil of Femmes told DPA news that the increase of migrants from Eritrea, Iraq, and Somalia, has meant a concomitant increase in the number of girls affected. 

The tenets of Islam do not require female genital mutilation (FGM), but the practice is almost entirely limited to Muslims of a number of different countries and regions. Charlotte Weil of Femmes issued a report that estimates at least 58,000 women in Germany have been subjected to the practice. National and international medical organizations and human rights groups have condemned the practice and pointed out that it serves no medical purpose. It is illegal in Germany. 

Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan signed legislation that outlaws the practice in his state. This came after federal investigators put several Muslim physicians and their spouses on trial for the practice.

While Femmes is not aware of any instances of FGM being conducted in Germany. Weil said that girls have been mutilated while on holiday in Paris, Amsterdam, or their home country. 

Social workers, medical personnel, and teachers have consulted Femmes increasingly over girls threatened by FGM over the last year. Sometimes mothers ask for assistance. While women and girls from The Gambia, and Senegal, appear to more receptive to knowing about the dangers of FGM, Guineans and Somalian prove to be less so. 

In February, a study produced by Germany’s Family Affairs Ministry showed that 48,000 woman and girls living in Germany have been victims of FGM: an increase of 30 percent since 2014. The report indicates that between 1,600 and 5,700 girls in Germany are faced with the illegal removal of the external parts of their genitalia. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported other estimates which claim that as many as 9,000 teenaged girls face FGM. Most of FGM victims hail from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, or Somalia. The number of women from these countries living in Germany increased by 40 percent between 2014 and the middle of 2016.
 

 



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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