WHAT IS FGM? Female genital mutilation is the alteration or removal of a girl’s external genitalia, meaning the Labia and the clitoris for non-medical reasons.
This extreme form of violence against women can cause infertility, difficulties urinating, menstruating and giving birth. It can also kill.
People think FGM isn’t a British problem but it is. It’s a very British problem.
FGM is often the first time that a girl is told she is not perfect the way she is and that something fundamental about her needs to be changed. If this cycle of abuse is broken at the beginning, her whole future path can be transformed.
Globally FGM has affected at least 200 million women and 68 million girls currently at risk.
In England and Wales alone 137,000 women and girls have been reportedly affected by FGM. We have no research on how many girls are at risk. Despite FGM being illegal in the UK, there have been no successful convictions.
In 2019 The Pink Protest joined forces with anti-FGM activist Nimco Ali to push a bill through parliament to get FGM included in the Children Act.
The Children Act 1989 (amended 2004) provides the legal basis for how social services and other agencies deal with issues relating to children. As of 2019, FGM is not included in this legislation meaning there is no legal protection for a child who is at risk of undergoing this kind of violence.
In 2018, Baron Michael Berkeley introduced a bill into the House of Lords to have FGM included in the Children Act. The Bill completed its House of Lords stages on 19 November 2018 and was presented to the House of Commons on 20 November 2018.
On February 1st MP’s are voting on whether or not to amend the Children Act to include FGM. We need this bill to go through.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
FGM is a feminist issue and we all need to get behind this bill and make sure that the Children’s Act protects ALL children.
We need you to speak up. We need you to sign our petition, post on Instagram and to write to your MP to demand that FGM be included in the children’s act. We need you to keep their mitts off our muffs. #EndFGM