The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is an important opportunity to emphasise the need to eradicate such practices and focus on the wider theme of countering any form of violence and discrimination against women, to which Italy gives the highest priority," said Minister Alfano on the occasion of this important Day."Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that violates the human rights of girls and women and their rights to health. It causes very serious and irreparable damages to the physical and psychological development of those on whom these procedures are imposed. It has a very negative impact on the promotion of women's empowerment and consequently, also on a sustainable development of society," the minister added. Italy is fully engaged in supporting the international campaign to eradicate such procedures also by means of carrying out awareness actions and in-the-field projects, which are funded by the Italian Cooperation service. Our Country has always been at the forefront, promoting resolutions for the eradication of FGM both at the UN General Assembly and at the UN Human Rights Council. Law n.7/2006 regarding the prevention of and the ban on the practice of female genital mutilation is looked upon at the international level as an example of best practices in the fight against these procedures. Italy is also one of the major international donors engaged in this field."It is most important that we continue to work with determination, adopting an all-encompassing and multidisciplinary approach shared by all actors involved, including international and regional organisations and NGOs as well. This approach should stress the connection between female genital mutilation, violence against women and gender inequality. We need integrated policies that can lead to the implementation of international agreements via an inclusive method aimed not only at promoting change in politics and legislation, but also, and above all, at the cultural level and at the very core of society," Minister Alfano concluded.