New legislation has outlawed female genital mutilation in Ireland, where over 3,000 women are believed to have undergone the procedure.

A bill outlawing the practise was passed into law in the Irish parliament on Wednesday.
Under the new law the practise is now prohibited as is taking a girl abroad to have FGM performed.

Any Irish residents in breach of the new law face prosecution and jail.

A report on the Journal.ie quotes AkiDwA, the network of African and migrant women in Ireland which had campaigned for the legislation, as saying that said that the new bill sends a clear message to parents and guardians that FGM will not be tolerated.

Senator Ivana Bacik, who first proposed the Bill, said that the legislation had been long overdue in a country where over 3,000 female residents are believed to have undergone FGM.

Bacik said: “International research shows the enormous dangers to the health of women and girls represented by the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation.

“This is a pressing issue in this country, particularly for migrant women and girls and their families”.

Amnesty International launched a campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Europe in 2009Lensmen