Landmark Move: Britain Opens Its First FGM Clinic For Girls


Here’s some healthcare news we can actually get excited about! Britain has announced it will open its very first FGM clinic, dedicated to helping girls who have undergone female genital mutilation, sometimes referred to as “female circumcision”. Make no mistake about it, there is nothing good about this practice, and the British government are on a mission to educate cultures on the dangers of this practice, and provide healthcare for women who have had it done to them.

In a report on Cosmo UK, an estimated 65,000 women in the country are victims of the barbaric procedure, with a further 35,000 thought to be at risk. Many immigrants from other countries in the Middle East and in Africa practice FGM thinking it preserves a girl’s virginity and ensures she will still be valuable “marriage material”. But it causes major health complications, and in some extreme cases, death.

There is a lot of cultural misinformation surrounding the practice, so one advantage the British government have is that they can allocate resources to educating foreign nationals on why this practice needs to stop, and implement legislation.

The new clinic will open in at University College Hospital in London in September, and will treat girls up to 18 years old, as well as provide psychological treatment for victims. As part of a new crack down, Doctors at the soon-to-be-opened clinic will be able to help social workers and police identify victims, and also aid in prosecutions and investigations.

According to BBC News, doctors at the clinic will also be able to take medical photographs of victims’ injuries, give witness statements and testify in court. The NSPCC children’s charity has set up a 24-hour FGM helpline and received 321 reports since it launched last June, 148 of which were referred to police and children’s services.


Here’s the thing, the practice has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but finding perpetrators and people to report them has been difficult. The UK government has had to go beyond just legislation and mobilize all sectors in an effort to crack down on FGM. It was only in early 2014 that the first FGM prosecution was made in the UK, and since then, there have been campaigns and conferences aimed at showing the government how the existing legislation needs to be upgraded.

Now, as part of their Serious Crime Bill, they can prosecute those assisting, as well as performing, the procedure, whether in the UK or abroad. At the moment this law only applies to UK citizens and nationals, but will soon extend to frequent visitors of the UK who will be included under legislation that has the power to arrest them and send them to jail for up to 14 years.

Just recently the very first Girl Summit was held in London, attended by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May who spoke to visiting delegates, non-profits organizations, victims and survivors about the need to eradicate child marriage and FGM. Not long before that, the UK introduced another landmark law cracking down on child marriage where UK nationals can be prosecuted for aiding or instigating a marriage without consent, whether they are at home or abroad. These laws have to be far reaching for them to have effect.

Elsewhere in Europe, Somalian Supermodel Waris Dirie who suffered FGM herself, helped open a similar clinic in Berlin which would enable other victims who have come to the country receive reconstructive surgery and other forms of treatment.

BBC News put together a helpful infograph detailing the main areas in the world where female genital mutilation is practiced.


Aside from legislation and now a dedicated clinic, the UK government is mobilizing teachers, schools and the younger generation to educate their communities, parents, and grandparents on why they need to stop this awful practice. Empowering the youth is a smart way to try and eradicate FGM from the ground up, because if it is stopped organically within communities, it has a better chance of going away permanently.

The Guardian newspaper and newsmedia site also launched a campaign of their own, lead by school girl Fahma Mohamed to urge British Head of Education Michael Gove to allow schools to teach about the harmful practice and encourage students to tel their families. In the UK, they found that over the school holiday periods was the time when families would take their daughters overseas to get “cut”.

It is about a change of mind for a lot of cultures, and the government is recognizing this, which is why they launched a campaign in June aimed at mothers.

It was aimed specifically at mothers and carers within Somali, Kenyan and Nigerian communities, where a higher than average number of women are exposed to the procedure.

Norman Baker, the Crime Prevention minister, said, “We need a complete cultural change on FGM and we are working to support communities to abandon the practice themselves.

“Mothers have the power to stop this happening to their daughters and the next generation.”


We are in awe of the major steps the UK is taking to eradicate the problem in their own backyard and make an impact on the rest of the world. Their attention to the changing culture at home means they can better protect the next generation of girls and allow them to live without fear of being subjected to this horrible practice.

It always makes our editorial team excited to report on positive news like this and we hope more and more countries, especially the regions where FGM happens the most, will take notice of the global force rising to take a stand against this crime against humanity. The eyes of the world are watching!


One Comment

  1. Pingback: UK Gov't Creates New Position To Tackle Violence Against Women & Girls

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.