On 6th February 2015; the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation- KMEWO calls for better resources for community work and more focus on the role of Health and Education departments in eliminating FGM.
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Female Genital Mutilation, internationally recognised as a violation of women’s human rights and as a form of child abuse, is thought to have affected 500,000 victims in the EU alone, and more than 125 million worldwide.
A new statistical study funded by Trust for London and the Home Office http://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/news-and-events/news-and-comments/new-research-137000-women-and-girls-in-england-and-wales-affected-by-fgm/ shows that:
137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM, born in countries where FGM is practiced, were permanently resident in England and Wales in 2011. 10,000 girls aged under 15 and 24,000 women over 50, who have migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM.
Whilst positive steps in supporting victims of FGM and protecting children at risk have been taken in the last year, however this new statistics show that there is an enormous work still to be done. There is still lack of education and attention surrounding the issues of FGM within many communities as well as professionals from education and health departments; this calls for more resources to be allocated for community work and training professionals.
KMEWO is certain- to tackle this form of child abuse we have to continue focusing on community work. By building up trust and providing empowering work with women and their children within Kurdish and Arabic speaking communities, we will be able to change attitudes towards FGM and to break this cycle. KMEWO will continue to work with mosques, Kurdish supplementary schools, primary schools and professionals from health and education sectors to raise awareness through education, work in cooperation with other women organisations and recognise the crucial role of men in this battle. Simultaneously teachers and authorities get trained in detecting and identifying girls who are vulnerable to FGM abuse.
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