The State Secretary for Parliamentary Matters and Equality, Teresa Morais, has guaranteed that combating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a government priority, as is putting an end to all types of violence against women, and she said there should also be no room for doubt as to the punishment for such crimes.

"If the law is not clear enough, then it should be clarified; if the Istanbul Convention, which Portugal was the first country in the European Union to rectify in February this year, shows that this is a type of autonomous offence with regards to serious offences against physical integrity, then [the law] should be empowered [to deal with it]", she said.

Speaking at the opening of a Euro-African Seminar 'For the end of Female Genital Mutilation', which took place in Lisbon, Teresa Morais stressed that FGM is a serious offence against physical wellbeing and therefore is a crime covered and punishable by Portuguese law as well as being covered by child protection laws.

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