Southwark has the highest rate of female genital mutilation in the whole of the UK.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there's no medical reason for this to be done.
7,000 women in our borough are believed to have undergone FGM - including over 8% of Peckham and Camberwell women.
Not enough is being done in Southwark. The Council has an FGM strategy but does not set aside any funds specifically to engage with and support communities affected by FGM. There is also no long-term plan, even though the prevalence of FGM is way above the London and national average.
Women’s Equality Party Southwark believes that tackling FGM and supporting survivors needs to be prioritied. It’s an urgent issue that can only be addressed hand-in-hand with survivors.
To highlight how critical this is, we will be partnering with Peckham-based anti-FGM activist Sarian Karim Kamara to hold “Southwark Against FGM”.
Sarian is the founder of Keep the Drums, Lose the Knife, a community interest group that provides educational workshops for communities and professionals, and support groups and confidential counselling sessions for survivors.
This one-day event will bring together local communities affected by FGM, the general public, and public sector representatives such as teachers, health specialists and councillors. Sarian believes everyone needs to be educated about FGM and that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject.
Held in Peckham Palms, an organisation led by and created for black women - this event will be free, open to everyone and will include:
- An introduction to FGM and Sarian’s work
- A panel session, sharing personal stories along with an open discussion between survivors, supporters and specialists
- A talk from the brilliant Leyla Hussein, founder of the Dahlia Project and co-founder of Daughters of Eve
- A chance for local communities and survivors to discuss other issues of inequality they experience
- A chance for people to have confidential discussions with Sarian about FGM
- A discussion of what can be done in the future
Sarian runs a charity called Keep the Drums, Lose the Knife and has three key goals:
- Provide education and create awareness about FGM for everyone
- Stop FGM and make it clear that it is illegal and in fact, child abuse
- Provide confidential support for survivors
Whether you’re a WEP member or supporter or not... this event will be an important and eye-opening chance for you to support the fight for equality for all women.
WE hope to see you there!