The Women’s Equality Party proposes new laws to end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK
Today, the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance against Female Genital Mutilation, the Women’s Equality Party calls for a new national monitoring system to record all incidents of FGM.
Last year, 137,000 women and girls in the UK were subjected to FGM – more than in any other European country. In Southwark, more than 10% of babies are born to FGM survivor mothers.
“The Women’s Equality Party (WE) has a clear a set of policies to stamp out this horrific gender hate crime,” says party leader and London Mayoral candidate Sophie Walker. “WE call for all politicians to get behind our plans for a national database of FGM crimes, so that we can better target high prevalence areas and bring an end to this practice.”
“We also call for specialist training for all teachers to help them better recognise the risk factors,” Walker adds. “FGM should be discussed as part of mandatory sex and relationship education classes at school.”
Around 500 cases of FGM are recorded in England and Wales every month, according to new data released yesterday (5 February) by UNICEF.
“Many of these are not ‘new cases’,” says Women’s Equality Party adviser Nimco Ali (pictured), who has led the anti-FGM campaign in Britain. “When an FGM survivor accesses health services, at that point she will be recorded in the system. We need to join up this monitoring so we can target areas where girls are at greatest risk.
“We are finally beginning to talk more openly about FGM, but we need to push further forward,” Ali continues. “In order to truly end FGM we have to empower young people by educating them. "
UNICEF’s report also reveals that 200 million women and girls around the world have been affected by FGM.
“It is horrific that so many girls and young women are being mutilated, and we are failing to protect them,” Walker says. “All of us have a role to play in stopping this. It’s time we made it a political priority to protect our girls.”
WE are the only political party with a set of policies specifically addressing the gender hate crime of Female Genital Mutilation:
- WE will establish a national monitoring system to anonymously record all incidents of forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and honour-based violence to deepen our understanding of these crimes and better target prevention resources
- WE support the global campaign to end FGM and will work to raise awareness and so end the practice.
- WE advocate specialist training for all teachers – starting with those in high prevalence areas – in order that they can recognise the risk factors that this abuse may be occurring.
Our candidates in the London Mayoral, London and Welsh Assembly, and Scottish Parliament elections in May will be campaigning for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. Read more.
Read UNICEF’s report.
Read Equality Now’s report.