Raising my voice against FGM

Raising my voice against FGM By Sandra Charles, Regional Women’s Committee member

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as: “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The age at which girls undergo FGM/C varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is new-born, during childhood or adolescence, at marriage or during the first pregnancy. However, the majority of cases of FGM/C are thought to take place before the age of 8 with half of all FGM taking place before the on 5 years. It is believed that FGM/C happens to British girls in the UK as well as overseas (often in the family’s country of origin). Girls of school age who are subjected to FGM/C overseas are thought to be taken abroad at the start of the school holidays, particularly in the summer holidays, in order for there to be sufficient time for her to recover before returning to her studies.

I was asked by both a local TV station and local Domestic Abuse charity to speak as part of the Zero Tolerance for FGM Day on 6 February. This year’s theme was ‘Raising my voice against FGM’ and I spoke about this horrific practice and how it affects women.
If you would like to find out more about the impact of FGM then please visit; https://www.who.int/news-room/factsheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation

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