Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) involves the cutting and removal of some or all of the external female genitals. This practice has no health benefits, and often causes diseases, disability and long-term health conditions.
According to the UK government, FGM affects around 137,000 women and girls in the UK, however it’s noted that the true figure is likely much higher, due to the ‘hidden’ nature of the crime.
FGM is illegal in the UK, and making the practice a crime is something that campaigners have been working towards for some time. However this does not mean that the police and the courts are the only institutions that should try to put a stop to this harmful practice.
It is really important to make sure that everybody understands the physical harm and mental trauma FGM can cause. Ensuring everybody understands and believes that FGM is unnecessary, unhealthy and illegal is a crucial step. Practices like FGM have social and cultural dimensions that are often used to help to explain and sustain the practice. Because of this, community outreach must listen to communities, partner with change-makers, and have good local knowledge.
If you would like to find out more about the work we do to reduce harmful practices, or if you have any comments or suggestions, then please get in touch using the contact form below.