The Department of Nursing of the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK) announced the launch of a two-year European programme in which it participates that will create an E-Learning Portal for Professionals to End FGM in Europe.

Academics, researchers and other experts from the Mediterranean Institute for Social and Gender Studies, the Nursing Department of TEPAK, the European Network END FGM, the Association of Family Planning in Portugal and the Italian Organisation for Women participate in the programme, in addition to Sustainable Development (AIDOS) and the Group on the Abolition of FGM (GAMS) in Belgium.

Specific supporting partners will contribute to the programme such as UNHCR and other national and international agencies.

The €718,000 project is financed by the European Commission.

Its main objective is to develop an online learning and information platform about female genital mutilation (FGM).

The platform will target professionals from various sectors – healthcare, asylum, social welfare, police, education and civil society – to provide culturally appropriate and specialised support and protection to women and girls affected by FGM.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) recognises female genital mutilation (FGM) as a form of gender-based violence, which has long-term psychological and physical effects on women and girls.

Comprehensive and systematic training and education of professionals in female genital mutilation (FGM) remains an imperative in Europe, as only three EU countries provide professionals with such training as part of their curriculum.

The opening meeting of the programme took place in Limassol in March under the auspices of the Nursing Department of TEPAK.