Teen Girl Leading The Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation In The UK


Female Genital Mutilation is no joke, and it is still happening all around the world today. Not just in African countries, but in many western countries like the UK! Shocked? Well hopefully this will bring awareness to something that is not a religious or cultural debate, it is a human debate.

There is no medical reasoning for FGM, unlike male circumcision. FGM literally mutilates the female genitalia and can affect a woman’s organs for the rest of her life. Sadly, in many cases, the procedures are done in unsanitary conditions, leading to severe health complications and even death. This has to be stopped!

In the UK, the Guardian have launched a campaign to raise awareness and to put the pressure on the government to outlaw this practice. Many immigrants come to the UK each year from places where they practice FGM, but moving to a western environment doesn’t mean they stop practicing this atrocity.

“According to government figures more than 20,000 British girls are thought to be at risk of being cut every year. Medical groups, trade unions and human rights organizations estimate that there were 66,000 UK victims of female genital mutilation in the UK and more than 24,000 girls under the age of 15 were at risk. Victims can be as young as just a few weeks old,” says the Guardian.

There are groups who sometimes take the girls back to their home country to perform the “operation” but it is becoming more and more common in the UK and that is where the government needs to step in.

The guardian have chosen 17 year old Fahma Mohamed as the face of this new campaign. She is one of nine daughters in a Muslim Somali family that came to Britain when she was seven. The reason they chose Fahma was because FGM happens to girls like her and she is the perfect spokesperson to know how urgent this is.


Fahma and the Guardian have started a petition on Change.org to urge British Politician Michael Gove, the head of the Department of Education, to act now.

“Many girls are sent away to be cut over the summer holidays. Some are cut at home. They call it the ‘cutting season’. If every headteacher was given the information they need to talk about FGM to students and parents we could reach every girl who is at risk before the holidays. We could convince families not to send their daughters to be cut and we can help girls who are at risk. We could break the cycle so the next generation is safe.

“That’s why I’m calling for Michael Gove to get schools to teach about FGM before the summer holidays.”

It’s scary to think this is a “seasonal” thing. That what is effectively considered child abuse by many is a rite of passage for others.

“More than 140 million women and girls worldwide have suffered FGM, with up to 98% of girls mutilated in certain African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries,” says the Guardian.

There is already legislation in the UK against FGM, but no prosecutions so far. People are too scared to speak up and accuse anyone, for fear of cultural ostracization and bringing shame upon the family by an individual. It is culture that has taught girls not to speak, that they don’t have a voice. But the millennial generation and beyond are changing that.

The government has also announced that hospitals are now bound by law to report cases of FGM that they come across.

“We are not going to be quiet. We are not going to shut up. It has taken us this long just to get people talking about it – we don’t care how long it takes to make people listen,” says Fahma about the campaign. The teen has seen many girls go through the horrific ritual and knows first hand how dangerous it is.

Naana Otoo Oyortey, the executive director of Forward UK, which has been central to the FGM debate in Britain and has joined the Guardian’s campaign says “Why are we talking about prosecuting parents before we have even sent out information? There has to be a change of heart, and that has to start in schools.”

Education, coupled with awareness and a support system that will encourage more women and girls to speak up for this injustice is the key to ending female genital mutilation, according to this campaign. So what can YOU do? You can sign the petition, tweet British PM Michael Gove, follow the organizations in the UK working to outlaw FGM, and nominate another org that you know of. To do any of these options click HERE.

Here’s Fahma’s petition to politician Michael Gove to use his power to protect young women from FGM in the UK:


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