Estelle Robinson 0

Female Genital Mutilation Election Pledge

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a grave violation of girls' and women's human rights that threatens the physical and physiological health of millions of girls and women worldwide. In the UK, it is both illegal and classified as child abuse. It poses immediate and long-term health consequences, and it is a violation of the right to: physical and mental integrity;freedom from violence;the highest attainable standard of health;freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex;freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments;life.

FGM, which is the "partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons", is practiced in 28 African countries, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and in ethnic minority populations across the world. 3 million girls in Africa alone are subjected to FGM every year. This means that over 8,000 girls are subjected to this dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure every day.

FGM is also a reality here in the UK: it is estimated that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM and up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at high risk of FGM in the UK. Therfore it is essential that more is done in the UK to tackle FGM and to protect the human rights of women and girls.

In 2003 the UK passed its FGM Act and the UK government has also signed a number of international human rights laws against FGM. More must be done if we are to prevent further generations of girls from being subjected to this dangerous and abusive practice. It is time to step up this action and address the implementation of legislation, provision of adequate and accessible services, and preventative actions.

FORWARD is calling on the future members of the UK Parliament to build on the work already done. Threfore we appeal to candidates to the UK Parliament to sign this declaration of intent.

If elected, I declare my intention to support the following measures:

Recognition that FGM is a form of violence against women which demands a proactive legislative response from government to ensure effective safeguarding of all girls residing in the UK, regardless of their status.
The creation and implementation of a national UK action plan on FGM
Effective collection and analysis of data on FGM prevalence in the UK Strengthened community engagement through the creation of spaces for dialogue Accessible and appropriate healthcare for women living with FGM who reside in the UK, irrespective of their status Clear UK asylum guidelines for those under threat of FGM and the implementation of these guidelines Mainstreaming FGM in the UK's political and policy dialogues on cooperation with FGM-practicing countries and their civil society organisations
Proactive EU level development assistance and support to develop the laws and programmes that tackle FGM globally


About FORWARD FORWARD is an African Diaspora women’s campaign and support charity. Our work responds to the need to safeguard dignity and advance the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of African women and girls. We work with individuals, communities and organizations to transform harmful practices and improve the quality of life of vulnerable girls and women. FORWARD envisions a world where women and girls live in dignity, are healthy and have choices and equal opportunities to fulfil their potential.


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