The Amendment to the Children Act 1989 (Female Genital Mutilation) (HL) was scheduled for a second reading in Parliament today, having been blocked by Christopher Chope once already in November last year.
Chope blocked it in the same way today, as he also did with a Private Members Bill to criminalise upskirting in June last year.
Nimco Ali, anti-FGM campaigner, former Women’s Equality Party candidate, and co-Founder of Daughters of Eve said,
“This amendment is a really important measure that will give authorities more powers to intervene on behalf of vulnerable girls to stop this vicious form of violence against girls.
“Christopher Chope’s calculated obstructions to women’s rights legislation should worry us all, but while he might block this amendment he can be sure that I will never stop campaigning until FGM has been eradicated forever, and I have an army of support behind me.”
Chope has cited his objection to making laws through Private Members Bills to justify his blocking of the previous bills. However, he himself has pursued dozens of his own bills, including proposals about fruit and vegetable classifications and the BBC licence fee.
Tabitha Morton, Spokesperson for the Women’s Equality Party said,
“Christopher Chope’s threats to today’s legislation to further the rights of women and girls highlight some of the many ways that politics is broken.
“It’s the 21st century and even now one man, with one word, can put thousands of women and girls at risk of lifelong harm over a Friday lunchtime in Parliament. This has to change and it won’t change until we elect enough women to see women’s lives at the forefront of political decision making.
“WE have a message for Chope and his fans. WE will not stop until Parliament is filled by women of every background and our lives and rights are at the centre of governments’ agendas and every parliamentary debate. No longer relegated to back bench bills or ever delayed draft legislation.”