Anti-FGM action is being taken by individuals, families, communities, charities and statutory agencies, across all sections of society, from the local to the global level.
Individuals from FGM communities, such as the people who have shared their stories on this website, are standing up against FGM. Volunteers from all communities are standing in solidarity and contributing their time, energy and ideas.
Community groups are talking about FGM and recognising how it affects whole families. Men as well as women have become anti-FGM champions in Oxford.
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board
Through the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, professionals have formed strategy groups and formulated plans covering a wide range of services and groups. These plans mean Oxfordshire is now able to capture data about who is at risk, promote best safeguarding practice and develop projects to tackle FGM in Oxfordshire.
Young people are raising awareness through art projects and workshops. They are also making links with young people in different parts of the country.
Front-line services and professionals
Health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and domestic abuse workers, for example, have received training on FGM so they can support girls at risk. Screening tools have been developed to help professionals ask families questions about FGM and keep girls safe.
Professionals are developing research to ensure that FGM communities receive effective and sensitive services.
The Oxford Rose Clinic, at the John Radcliffe Hospital, is a confidential service that provides support and help for women and girls who have undergone FGM. Dr Brenda Kelly is the Founder and Director of the Clinic and Clinical Lead for women with FGM in Oxford. Dr Kelly also helps train professionals and talk to communities at risk. She is the Patron of Oxford Against Cutting. Read more about The Oxford Rose Clinic here.
Oxford Safer Communities Partnership, Rosa, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner and Oxfordshire County Council Public Health Directorate have contributed funding to support local initiatives.
Local businesses have supported anti-FGM work and donated refreshments for events.
The UK government has committed funds of approximately £1.9 million in 2014 to help tackle FGM. This money has been used to promote the NSPCC FGM helpline, provide training, create campaign posters and statements, fund research, collect data and support voluntary sector organisations.
The government has also been working to strengthen anti-FGM legislation to make sure there are no loopholes in the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. There is now a Female Genital Mutilation Unit rolling out anti-FGM actions.
Voluntary sector organisations
Groups are working tirelessly to help protect girls and women in the UK. As well as Oxford Against Cutting, other charities include:
FOWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) a charity run by women from African communities dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women. They work in the UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies. FORWARD will support anyone from any community worried about FGM.
Integrate Bristol is a charity formed to help with the integration of young people and children who have arrived from other countries and cultures. They create educational and creative projects to campaign and educate about issues such as FGM.
Daughters of Eve raise awareness about FGM offering advice and support to help young people.
There are many other voluntary and government groups working across the UK to tackle FGM.
Non-government organisations are working across Africa to tackle FGM including The Girl Generation, launched in October 2014, an Africa-led movement aiming to end FGM in one generation.
Governments are introducing laws to ban FGM.
FGM has already been banned in many African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt (ministerial decree), Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria (multiple states), Senegal, Tanzania, Togo. In Sudan only the most severe form of FGM has been outlawed.
The UK government hosted the Girl Summit in July 2014 with UNICEF and pledged £35 million to help end FGM in 17 countries in Africa.
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on female genital mutilation which calls on all member states of the European Union to implement anti-FGM laws even where cutting happens outside the country.
The UN works to create and strengthen international law and hold countries to account which breach international human rights legislation. The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February is a UN anti-FGM campaign.
International charities such as Plan UK are working on projects in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Sierra Leone and Sudan to tackle FGM. Their projects include education, changing attitudes, increasing legal protection and supporting victims.
The Desert Flower Foundation has opened medical centres to provide reconstructive surgeries to women who have suffered FGM. They are also pioneering community work such as making contracts with parents to guarantee that sponsored girls will not be cut. In exchange, the parents are supported with food and school fees, for example.
28 Too Many focus on research and enabling local initiatives to end FGM in the 28 African countries where it is practiced and across the diaspora.