High-Level Event at the Sixty-Seventh Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) on the theme “Harmful practices : Catalyzing Innovation to End Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage”
9 march 2023
Statement by H.E. Eugenia Maria Roccella, Minister for Family, Natality and Equal Opportunities, Italy
Dear representatives of Burkina Faso,
Dear representatives of the International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me open this remark saying that fighting all forms of violence and discrimination against women, in particular harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriages, represents for Italy a key priority , in particular our government is committed to eradicating harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child early and forced marriages. A duty that we want to pursue not only at National level but also in the framework of our foreign policy and international promotion of human rights.
Italy through its development cooperation has been a strong supporter of multilateral initiatives aiming at gender equality and the different SDGs and in particular to fight FGM. The UNFPA and UNICEF joint program on elimination of FGM, it is an excellent multilateral example on how to promote the achievement of gender equality. We are proud to have been of the long-standing donors in supports of its activities.
Even in Italy, thousands of women and girls are subjected to such practices that constitutes relevant human rights violation. I believe it is crucial to encourage them to speak out and to report the offense, offering victims assistance and care. FGM are simply unacceptable, they cause irreparable physical and psychological consequences that undermine girls empowerment and because of this, a sustainable development of the whole society. Furthermore, these harmful practices have negative effects on other human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as the right to education, health and motherhood.
We are actively engaged in the international campaign to null them. Italy has been involved, – with a constructive and balanced approach – in the negotiations talks on the biennial Resolutions on the eradication of female genital mutilations within the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly III Committee.
It is important to tackle FGM through initiatives that include multilevel approaches designed also to leverage norms changes, harmful stereotypes and unequal structures of power. Conceiving interventions for single individuals and for their communities.
It is essential, moreover, to ensure that the perspectives of women and girls in general, and survivors in particular, are taken into account when government and lawmakers are asked to design policies related to FGM and gender inequalities. A real transformative approach to the issue stems from involving citizens to build a fair inclusive society free from gender based violence and discrimination.
Thank you for your attention.