Youth-led website launched to end FGM
A new website has been launched this week by teenagers to help educate other young people about FGM and what steps they can take to stop it.
From July to September this year across London 758 newly reported incidences of FGM were discovered by healthcare professionals.
Everybody’s Business is run by young people for young people to help spot the signs of abuse and help others they think may be at risk. It offers videos and interactive guides to help others find out about a practice which can have serious consequences for women and girls affected.
The website was set-up by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls as part of its 6-year initiative across the UK, and is one of 17 community projects funded by a government grant which aims to end FGM and ‘honour’ based violence by creating a network of community champions.
Over the past year these groups have reached nearly 20,000 people across 216 events.
Communities Minister Baroness Williams said:
Women and girls, wherever they are from and whatever their background, have the right to live their life free from violence.
Government has been clear, religious leaders have been clear – Female Genital Mutilation has no place in our society and we will not tolerate it.
These community champions have been on the ground educating people about how they can put an end to this horrific practice. I hope that young people across the country will take the time to visit the Everybody’s Business website and find out what they too can do to help.
Everybody’s Business recently launched 2 competitions for young people. Najmo Mahdi, a young activist with Integrate Bristol and one of the young competition winners on the Everybody’s Business website said:
Ending FGM and achieving real gender equality is something that I’m passionate about.
It is so important that young people are involved in making the changes - not only are they the parents of the next generation, they are also the ones who will be living in the world that current policy makers are shaping.
We have a right to be included in shaping our future society!
Samantha Rennie, Executive Director of Rosa said:
With an estimated 20,000 girls still at risk of FGM in the UK, it remains a severe threat to their rights and safety. Rosa is delighted to have been able to engage young people through this website in the fight to end it.
Female genital mutilation is an extreme form of violence against women and girls. It is a human rights violation and can have a lifelong impact on survivors’ physical and psychological health.
125 million women worldwide are estimated to be living with the consequences of FGM and 30 million girls are at risk in Africa alone over the next decade.
Statistics published earlier in December showed that between July and September this year there were 1,385 newly recorded cases of FGM reported by healthcare professionals across England.
In the UK, it is unequivocally a criminal offence and the government is clear that political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of uncovering and stopping female genital mutilation.
Other government work to tackle FGM includes:
- new legislation to grant victims of FGM lifelong anonymity from the time an allegation is made
- the introduction of new civil orders designed to protect girls identified as being at risk of FGM
- new legislation that will mean parents can be prosecuted if they fail to prevent their daughter being cut.
At the Girls Summit in 2014 religious and community leaders united to sign a joint declaration condemning the unacceptable practice of FGM. This sent a clear message to communities across the UK that the practice is an extreme form of violence against women and girls and is not supported by any religious doctrine.
The UK is the biggest international donor to efforts to tackling female genital mutilation investing up to £35 million over 5 years.
In October this government also introduced mandatory reporting of FGM and published guidance to help professionals get ready for the new duty.
Rosa is a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. Rosa’s vision is of equality and justice for all women and girls in the UK. Rosa actively advocates, champions, and raises funds to invest in change.
About the Tackling FGM Initiative
The aim of the Female Genital Mutilation Initiative is to safeguard children from FGM, through community-based preventive work. This UK-wide initiative was established by three independent charitable organisations: Trust for London, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. The Tackling FGM Initiative has invested £2.8 million pounds in community-based preventative work over the last 6 years.
For more information about Rosa and the Tackling FGM Initiative please contact Louise Cook, Grants Manager
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