New APPG wants UK to accelerate work on ending FGM

Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects over 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales. Significant progress has been made at policy level in recent years. FGM laws have been strengthened. Most government departments have shown a commitment to ending it. The issue has been taken out of the sidelines and became front-page news.

However, despite the progress that has been made, systems are still not in place to ensure that girls at risk are fully protected, FGM survivors have not been given the support they need through the NHS and funding is not reaching those front line organisations working to end it.

On October 11th 2017, International Day of the Girl, politicians from various UK political parties have come together to form a new all party parliamentary group (APPG) on ending FGM in the UK and around the world.
The APPG is calling for urgent change in three areas:

• FGM information should be included as part of PSHE and an integral part of all safeguarding protocols.
• The NHS should develop a comprehensive support system for survivors of FGM, which recognises their specific physical, psychological and emotional needs.
• An analysis of any existing government-funded programmes to end FGM should be undertaken to ensure maximum value for money and effectiveness. Our goal is that at least 90% of funding to end FGM is given directly to those front line organisations that have been effectively ending it around the world.

The APPG to End FGM is convened by Zac Goldsmith MP and Jess Phillips MP. Members include: Nicky Morgan, Tulip Siddiq. Lynne Featherstone, Tan Dhesi, Helen Whately, Peter Aldous, David Amess. Jeremy Lefroy, Julian Lewis, James Cleverly, Rosena Allin-Khan, Hannah Bardell, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Caroline Lucas, Nusrat Ghani, Stephen Crabb and Tim Farron, with advisory support from survivor activist Nimco Ali, the NSPCC and women’s group Donor Direct Action.

Zac Goldsmith MP said:

“FGM can only end when it is clearly recognised – in policy and in practice – as violence against women and girls. Countries such as Kenya are leading the way on ending it as systems have been put in place to protect girls at risk. The UK is leading the world in funding work to end FGM but we need to make sure those funds make it to women on the front line who are doing so much. With the political will, we can and will achieve the global goal of ending FGM by 2030”.

Jess Phillips MP said:

“We need to get the right systems in place across government to ensure every single girl at risk is protected, and PSHE is key to this. Educating girls about their rights is the best way to keep them safe. I believe it’s also vital that we look at psychological support for survivors and make sure that women are properly supported.”

Nimco Ali said:

“Ending FGM in a generation might sound like buzz words, but in fact it’s a tangible reality. In my family and in many of those I know FGM has ended or is ending. In my family for the first time ever, the number of uncut girls outnumbers those of us who have had FGM. I am proud to say that this will continue.”

On October 11th, 2017, posted in: Other Campaigns, Press Release by