Members of the Bundesrat wants tough jail sentences for individuals found guilty of female genital mutilation.
The upper house has decided that the practice should constitute a specific legal crime under German law.
Under current legislation, genital mutilation is merely classed as aggravated assault with a maximum prison sentence of six months. The Bundesrat now wants to raise that to a minimum of two years.
Thousands of women in Germany, most of them immigrants, have suffered genital mutilation, which is still an active ritual in some parts of Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia and Latin America.