“The hills reverberate with the sounds of screaming”
Between 6,000 and 8,000 women in Austria have been forced to undergo genital mutilation, according to Social Democratic MP Petra Bayr.
Bayr, a member of the Austrian Platform against Female Genital Mutilation, said today: “Many parents believe they are doing their daughters a favour by forcing them to undergo it.”
She said the only way to change such thinking was to engage in awareness-raising and make it clear to parents that genital mutilation was neither called for by religion nor a pre-condition for finding a husband.
Rather, she added, genital mutilation was a violation of human rights that left its victims mentally and physically damaged for the rest of their lives.
Bayr added that her group was working with health personnel, migrant organisations and religious leaders to try to change the situation.