ARTICLES & RESEARCH

The impact of FGM safeguarding guidelines on Somali women living in Wales

Welsh government’s safeguarding guidelines around female genital mutilation are being accused of targeting Somali women and FGM survivorsWomen who had FGM as children are facing renewed trauma because safeguarding guidelines force them to tell their doctorAwoman who has experienced first-hand the invasive procedure of female genital mutilation (FGM) would never dream of inflicting that pain on anyone, let alone her own child.However, safeguarding guidelines in Wales state that because she is a survivor of FGM, her child is automatically considered at risk and can be referred to social services.In Welsh government’s latest policy report on violence against women, it said the pandemic had exacerbated…
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The impact of anti-FGM laws on African communities in the UK

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, it was known that there were early settlements of African communities in port cities in Britain.Some of these early migrants attempted to maintain their heritage. Many maintain links with their families and with their homeland, through adherence to cultural traditions. For some female as well as male circumcision were among the customs that was continued to practice, even though they settled in western countries.Female circumcision first became a criminal offence in the UK in 1985, with the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. This was replaced everywhere except in Scotland by the Female…
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How an FGM trial became a trial about witchcraft

BackgroundThis is the fifth time FGM has gone to trial in England since 2014. It is the first in which someone has been convicted. I attended most of the trial and shared notes with a colleague covering the days each of us was unable to attend. In spite of the punitive conditions for observers in the Central Criminal Court, including difficulty hearing those in the courtroom, what happened was clear: a woman was convicted of both FGM and witchcraft.A few women’s rights advocates and health professionals have publicly opposed the way the criminalisation of FGM has played out in the…
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