I am really glad to hear the news announced today by the International Development Secretary that the UK will provide up to £50 million in UK aid to help put an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030. The funding - the largest single investment in FGM in the world ever - will go towards in-country projects across Africa.
This is an issue I care very deeply about, and have worked with Hellesdon-based charity, Freedom Charity, to raise awareness of this issue within this country. Freedom Charity campaigns against FGM and forced-marriage, and they have recently been involved in training local A&E staff and midwives about the issue of FGM, including recognising the signs and types of mutilation.
FGM is illegal in this country, and is something that schools, colleges and support workers need to be aware of, and as well as learn how to support people who may have been a victim of it, or are at risk. Many young girls who live in this country are taken abroad, often to Africa, to have FGM performed. I am encouraged by today’s news of funding to end FGM, as I hope that the money being spent in Africa, will also help prevent young girls from this country being taken there for this procedure.
I have also been proud to support legislation against FGM through the 2015 Serious Crime Act, which makes it an offence to take someone abroad to perform FGM.
If you would like help and advice about FGM, including what to do if you think someone you know is in immediate danger, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/female-genital-mutilation-help-advice