More than 1,000 girls in Portugal at risk of female genital mutilation

Over 1,000 girls in Portugal are at risk of becoming victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), a European study has found.

There are currently at least 5,386 girls under the age of 18 living in Portugal who originate from countries where the practice is common – 1,342 of whom could be at risk of becoming an FGM victim, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) reports.

Although it cannot tell for sure whether or not any will suffer the mutilation, EIGE says its data will likely come in handy.

“Being able to estimate the number of girls at risk of FGM can be very useful for policy makers, not only when planning and implementing asylum or migration policies, but also for measures and activities related to social integration,” said Virginija Langbakk, Director of EIGE.

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Equality Teresa Morais complemented the study, saying she hopes “this new methodology will allow a better understanding of FGM, following the efforts Portugal has made to determine the number of girls at risk”.