Large percentage of girls in Paris suburbs face threat of genital mutilation

BY TRACY MATHESON / FEBRUARY 13, 2018 /

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A French sociologist asserts that as many as 30 percent of girls in the heavily migrant-populated suburbs of Paris face the threat of female genital mutilation.

Isabelle Gillette-Faye, director of the Group for the Abolition of Sexual Mutilation, has dire concerns regarding the prevalence of FGM in the areas of Seine-Saint-Denis and Île-de-France — regions known as no-go zones.

In an interview with Île-de-France’s official website, Gillette-Faye said that the practice of FGM in the area often involved much older girls than in other regions of the world where it occurs.

“In general, they undergo mutilations of type 2, that is to say, the removal of the clitoris and labia minora,” Gillette-Faye said, noting that many victims are forced to go overseas for the procedure, often before they are forced into marriages.

Gillette-Faye and her group are working to combat the practice of FGM by training medical practitioners and social workers to identify cases and collaborate with authorities.

“We will be relieved when we have left circumcision two to three generations behind us. Families living in France are often resistant, as social and traditional pressures are very strong, and it is often the family remaining in the [original] country that decides.”

FGM has garnered more attention in Western countries in recent years due to the burgeoning number of cases and the efforts to fight the practice. In the United Kingdom in 2017, one case was discovered or treated every hour, Breitbart reported.

“FGM Awareness Day” was observed earlier this month in an effort to highlight the problem.

In Ireland, there remains a challenge in the fight, where doctor and Muslim scholar Ali Selim recently endorsed a form of FGM, saying, “I’m not an advocate of female genital mutilation but I am an advocate of female circumcision.”