ROME, JANUARY 30 – “Political will of governments is crucial” in eradicating all forms of violence against women, and specifically the practice of female genital mutilation, said the Secretary General of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elisabetta Belloni, in her address at the Conference on the worldwide ban of female genital mutilation (FGM) that is taking place today and tomorrow at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized by the NGO “No Peace without Justice” (NPWJ), the Inter-African Committee (IAC) and their partners, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development.
Belloni emphasized that political will “must go hand in hand with the activities of civil society, of movements and associations that strive to achieve gradual results”. The goal, she explained “is to affirm individual freedom of choice, a principle which encompasses all others”. She pointed out that female genital mutilation “exists in all countries, even mine. It is a scourge that afflicts us all, on a universal scale, and we need common measures”.
We must “discern the best way to map out an itinerary – which we can ask societies and governments to join – to adopt the necessary measures to ban these practices” Belloni said, adding that “although there is a long road ahead of us, the incidence of female genital mutilation has diminished in some areas.” She concluded by remarking that to win this fight, “it is critical to focus on education”. (@OnuItalia)