FGM: Female Genital Mutilation is not a topic directly relevant to my blog but it is directly relevant to my life and that of all women, I believe.
I am writing about FGM today to encourage all my readers and followers to sign a petition sponsored by the charitable organisation, Daughters of Eve, Stop FGM in the UK Now.
Daughters of Eve is:
a non profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from female genital mutilation (FGM). By raising awareness about FGM and sign-posting support services we aim to help people who are affected by FGM and ultimately help bring an end to this practice.
Our wider work is to advance and protect the physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health rights of young people from female genital mutilation practicing communities. We recognise that FGM occurs in the context of wider harmful practices and that young people often have many different problems. We take a holistic approach, offering advice and support to help young people in as many ways as we can.
Their petition, Stop FGM in the UK Now, says:
Over 66,000 women in the UK have already undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) and more than 24,000 girls are at risk. FGM is a very British problem. Despite increased activities around FGM recently, it is not enough – we are still failing to stop the abuse. The multi-agency guidelines are not statutory, implementation at Local Authority and NHS level is disjointed, funding is minimal, and nobody is monitoring or holding anyone to account. As FGM falls under the Violence Against Woman and Girls (VAWG) portfolio, we believe that the Home Office should take responsibility for drawing up and enforcing the implementation of a National Strategy and Action Plan to eliminate FGM in the UK. Please join us in our call for effective leadership.
If you are unaware of FGM or would like to be better informed, please go across to the Daughters of Eve site where they explain simply what it’s all about. This is not a religious or race issue. It is about choice, female equality in status and rights to freedom from physical abuse and mutilation. All things that we, men and women, take as a given in the UK today.
I do believe that FGM is mutilation and abuse of the female body. I also understand that it is a practice customarily undertaken in many other countries. I hope and believe that, with the passage of time, the spreading and sharing of knowledge about religion, physiology, equality, rights, custom and choice that the practice will over time be considered barbaric and abhorrent in all societies.
Meantime, whilst it is not possible for those of us opposed to FGM to impose our views on people in other countries, we should be able to ensure that in our own – where FGM is illegal – that there is no occurrence of FGM at all.
Thankfully, in our liberal and equal society, our repugnance to this mutilation of the female form is already embodied in law. All that is required for it to be stopped here entirely is for our government to insist that we apply the law by prosecuting in all instances where FGM is uncovered, irrespective of source.
Thus far, and the evidence of 66,000 known FGM cases speaks to it, our own government and its’ services have been lax in applying the law at all, it seems – no prosecutions to date and a ghastly resounding silence on the subject.
Simple isn’t it? Let us ask them why this isn’t done and insist plans are implemented to ensure that it is as soon as possible.
Think about your mother, sister, child and friend. How would they and you feel if FGM were forced on them? Please expand your thoughts to all the women who might be affected by this.
It may be a small gesture to you but a staggeringly important one for others if as many people as possible in the UK – female and male – support this petition.
Please make your choice, click on the link and sign immediately: Stop FGM in the UK Now
Thank you and I welcome any comments you may have on this.