Seven training workshops were delivered between 13th February 2016 and 24th May 2016. Six of the workshops took place on 13th February, 27th February, 5th March, 14th March, 26th April, 7th May and 24th May 2016 at Caxton House, Goyzia Kurdish Supplementary School in Westminster, St Patrick Parish church, Ashley Road, the Kurdish Supplementary School in Croydon and St Mellitus Church. These were targeted at men and women from Kurdistan, the Middle East and North Africa. The one of workshops was for professionals and was delivered on Tuesday 26th April 2016 in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid.
A total of 130 women and men attended the series of seven workshops, most of whom were astounded by the practise. Although FGM is nowadays spoken about freely in the media and in general conversation, not everyone is aware of the process and the pain which the victims would have gone through. The workshops try to graphically replicate the process in order that the full impact of the trauma and suffering can be fully appreciated. Most of those attending the workshops, especially the men, were visually distraught and were very quick to express their abhorrence quite strongly against the continuation of the practice.
The feedback forms completed by everyone attending the workshops all show their appreciation for the presentations and for the eye opening experience. They also expressed their indebtedness for the opportunity afforded them to discuss the practice in an open and mature fashion in the absence of any form of religious or political restrictions. A number of the attendees made the point that in the countries were FGM is a everyday practice it is rarely or never talk about, except when one or a number of girls are about to go through the procedure. It is effectively seen as a natural phenomenon to be carried out without reservation or question.
We expect to run a further series of workshops in due course and anyone who might be interested in attending one of these are invited to submit their details which will be recorded accordingly