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FGM Research

The African Women's Organisation Study obtained a ban against FGM in Austria!

"The fact that so-called 'female circumcisions' take place in faraway Africa has also been known in Austria for years. Awareness campaigns and reports have ensured that the inhumane custom has been duly denounced. On the other hand, hardly anyone could have imagined that sexist female mutilation was also taking place in Austria itself. There was no precedent. Throughout Europe, there is a lack of proven cases to substantiate such rumours. In a recently presented study by the 'African Women's Organisation', eight percent of around 200 African women living in Austria who were interviewed anonymously stated that they themselves or relatives had been circumcised in Austria. After weeks of research, profil succeeded for the first time in comprehensively documenting a case in which an Austrian doctor had agreed to, planned and prepared a circumcision. Dr. Richard L., 39, is a trauma surgeon at the Vienna hospital SMZ Ost (Social Medical Centre) and as such a pragmatised civil servant of the City of Vienna. ... The undercover research had become necessary after it had become clear in the preceding weeks of profil research that on the one hand genital mutilation also exists in Austria, but on the other hand the topic remained hidden under a thick blanket of collective silence ..." (Excerpt from the Profil report by Emil Bobi of 6 November 2000)

The African Women's Organisation conducted a study on FGM among migrants in Austria for the first time in 2000. The results of the study showed that FGM is practised in Austria. Based on this study, Emil Bobi found out that a doctor was practising FGM in Austria. The court case against the doctor was dismissed with an acquittal because there was no law against FGM in Austria. The Austrian parliament then took the initiative to pass a law against FGM by making FGM an explicit criminal offence in the penal code.

In the following years, a number of projects for the prevention and elimination of FGM were carried out by the African Women's Organisation in Austria. In cooperation with RISK (Sweden) and VON (Netherlands) and with the support of EU Daphne, the City of Vienna and the Ministries of Interior and Social Affairs, a training and information brochure was presented with a systematic approach to FGM by offering several learning units for each module, covering a wide range of disciplines related to this custom. It is simple, relevant and illustrative for those who use it. See publications TrainingKIT.

Objectives of the National Action Plan in Austria: The prevention and elimination of FGM in Austria; the coordination of FGM activities and FGM projects in Austria; the networking and coordination of Austrian authorities dealing with FGM: With NGOs, migrant communities, religious communities and the media to implement projects to prevent and eliminate FGM in Austria.

  • Research by the African Women's Organisation

    1. FGM Situation in Austria (Study of the African Women’s Organization 2000)
    2. Study about FGM in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Senegal in 2000
    3. Study “The other face of FGM”, 2003
    4. Training Kit. Prevention and Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation among Immigrants in Europe, 2005
    5. Methodological and Technical Aspects of Training Sessions. Attachment to Training Kit. Prevention and Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation among Immigrants in Europe, 2005
    6. Training Kit and Information. Prevention and elimination of female genital mutilation among migrants in Europe, 2010
    7. Methodological and technical aspects for training sessions, 2010
    8. 2007-2008 Partner organisation of the EU Daphne project "Developing National Plans of Action to prevent and eliminate Female Genital Mutilation in the European Union"
    9. EU-AMIF Projekt LIREA: a.) Manual for Trauma Counselling, 2020, b.) Manual Violence against Women and Harmful/Cultural Practices, 2020 and c.) Manual for Communication for Training of Trainers, 2020

    Read our current annual report, our research reports and publications here!