LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: A long road ahead to stop gender based violence, but we are on the right track

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for local paper in her constituency about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the works she’s doing in Government aimed at dealing with the global problem of violence against women and girls:

Over the last year, I have spearheaded a new multi-million pound programme to tackle one of the most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence – female genital mutilation (FGM). And because of this solid foundation of work and momentum, this July the prime minister will host a major summit to tackle FGM as well as early and forced marriage  at all levels of government – locally, at UK level and internationally.

Our aim is to get political and popular support to end early and forced marriage and FGM within a generation. An ambitious goal, but women’s rights campaigners have always been ambitious! And I believe this goal is achievable – but only if we work together and ramp up our efforts to support this African-led movement.

There is work to do in the UK, too. Young girls who live in the UK are sent abroad to be “cut”. It has been estimated more than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM.

As the local MP in Haringey, I have called a roundtable – with officials from the local council, health services and police – in order to discuss an integrated strategy to protect girls in our borough.

Ending gender-based violence has been and will continue to be a long-fought struggle. This includes addressing the entrenched social norms and gender inequalities that drive violence against women and girls.

You can read the whole article here.

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