LibLink: Lynne Featherstone – end FGM within a generation

Yesterday was Time to Talk Day (#timetotalk), which generated some intensely personal accounts of living with mental illness. It was also the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It was an unfortunate clash, but the Lib Dem Voice team decided to focus on #timetotalk yesterday and to cover the FGM campaign before and after the event.

On Monday we reported that Lynne Featherstone was leading a mass awareness raising campaign for yesterday’s International Day.  In support, the Liberal Democrat MEPs had written an open letter calling on the EU to help end FGM within  a generation.

Here on Lib Dem Voice we have covered Lynne’s campaign against FGM extensively over many months. Recently we posted a male voice on the subject (warning – not for the squeamish, although this is what millions of girls are subjected to).

Lynne wrote in the New Statesman yesterday to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation under the heading ‘We cannot end FGM in the UK without ending it in Africa.’

Let’s be absolutely clear – Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse and an extreme form of gender violence. But for too long the world hasn’t wanted to talk about a harmful practice that is a centuries-old part of life for many communities. Too little was invested in ending FGM; too little money, too little research, too little attention.

It’s time we broke the silence. Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, and along with campaigners across Africa and the UK I am calling on the international community to raise their voices, back the African-led anti-FGM movement to end FGM within a generation.

That’s why the UK Government has announced a range of measures today to end FGM both in Britain and around the world. For the first time ever, all NHS acute hospitals will have to record information on patients who have suffered or are at risk of suffering FGM. A new FGM Community Engagement Initiative is also being launched by the Home Office today.

But we will not see an end to FGM here unless the practice is eliminated worldwide. That is why the Government has today appointed a consortium of leading anti-FGM campaigners to deliver a global campaign to end FGM. This campaign will unite activists across Africa with UK diaspora communities and charities, raising awareness of the fact that FGM is ending, that change is happening and communities are part of the movement against it.

You can read the article in full here.

 

 

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