To some it is part of a valuable cultural heritage. But to others, female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, represents an extreme violation of human rights. An estimated two million young women a year undergo the procedure. The potential consequences include prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility and even death. Widespread in Africa, the practice is increasingly found in EU immigrant communities. Now, as well as an international zero tolerance day, MEPs have agreed a resolution aiming to bring it to an end.
It says that member states must take appropriate measures to stop the practice, while prosecuting those who carry it out should be a priority.