The movement to end Female Genital Cutting

Baroness Valentine

Today, February 6th, is the internationally recognised day against female genital cutting (FGC). Today, fourteen communities, representing over 60,000 people, are declaring their abandonment of female genital cutting in Mali.

Approximately 2.8 million women and girls have undergone FGC in Mali, around 85%. This makes the declaration an important milestone, not least because the Government of Mali specifically chose the 6th February as the date for the declaration to show their support for an end to the practice. The upheaval in Mali over the past few years could have hampered efforts, but instead has hardened resolve.

This declaration, as well as outreach activities in support of the declaration to ensure the message spreads, are being funded by a charity I support – Orchid Project. The communities have come to this decision as a direct result of participation in the non-formal education programme of Orchid’s partner Tostan. Decisions such as this do not happen overnight. They are the result of years of work and by community members, who are making life changing decisions.


Overview press panel  Public Declaration  Koulikoro Fegoun ML,  8 Jun  2013

The work does not end here, however. The communities in Mali will join a larger movement for the abandonment of FGC in Africa. The message will continue to spread and attitudes will continue to change. Nearly 7,000 communities have already publicly declared their abandonment of FGC and the prevalence is falling in many countries. Today is the day to recognise these efforts and to pledge our support to ending female genital cutting.

7 comments for “The movement to end Female Genital Cutting

  1. maude elwes
    06/02/2014 at 12:38 pm

    This is a side lining of our responsibility toward women and girls in this matter to the people of the UK. What they do elsewhere and how quick they will change it has nothing to do with the British government or how they will deal with this catastrophe right here.

    What has to be done ‘now’ in this country is, regular annual or biannual health checks on female children in schools. Especially those who travel out of the country in holiday periods. This means both independent and State, religious and non religious. The way the nits nurse of old used to regularly visit.

    If a child is found to have been mutilated this way, then charges brought against her family. Entire family, for it is a family affair. Charges brought and immediate deportation for them all, back to their country of origin or to a country that accepts this as normal practice. This is not cruel or inhuman punishment, for, they will all be more content in a environment that understands their need to carry out an act that is intolerable in the society we live.

    Then, the world can take as long as it likes to change the practices elsewhere.

    And what do you want to bet this move will stop the practice overnight. And you know it. Which leaves me wondering why it hasn’t been done to date. it’s been chugging on for over a decade and nothing will move you all. Will it.

  2. Gareth Howell
    06/02/2014 at 6:52 pm

    Mali was what might have been described as a successful French colony for many years, just outside being considered a Department of France itself. They successfully provided “cercle”
    administrators. One wonders what they thought of such practices.

    The history of pathology, ie hygiene in Europe was that in the
    15th-16th-17thC the individual was isolated if suspected of carrying disease, whereas today since th famous immunologists of the early 19thC, we have known that the
    germs had to be dealt with, and not the individuals themselves, although some diseases are still dealt with by strict isolation.

    From the view point of the Central African dealing with “woman problems” evidently meant dealing with woman, rather than dealing with the rapid circulation/transmission of germs.

    Today the population is at least 18 times the size of what it was in 1960 with over 1,800,000 recorded at the 2009 Census, and continues to attract a rural population in search of work. Including illegal squatters and temporary workers some experts believe the population today is well over 2 million. This uncontrolled growth causes significant difficulties in terms of traffic, sanitation (access to safe water, sanitation), pollution.

    With this extract from the wiki page on Mali in view, it has to be a wise move to promote the fact, that hygiene
    is crucial, but given this information, The baroness might just
    as well spend her money on the Tory Spring Ball than anything to do with water pollution and sanitation In Mali.

    Modern pathology is indubitably an advanced, and advancing, science, very frequently misused by vested interests, but to suppose that anything can be done in such a burgeoning population is a mistake. Self help is the only way.

    • maude elwes
      07/02/2014 at 2:35 pm

      This abuse of female children has nothing to do with hygiene, that is simply a cover. It is entirely down to the male of the species wanting subjugation and control over the sexual practices of women.

      If mutilation of the entire penis was a practice brought into this country from other continents how quick would you think it would stop? Days, weeks, months. This has been known of here for decades and no prosecutions. Why?

      What else have politicians introduced into this country under the hidden desire to lower the wage of our citizens? Forced marriage is rampant here. And the girls get younger by the day. You cannot remove an accepted tradition of communities by importing them to the West. It simply spreads to our society. And the pieces have to be picked up by the tax payers of the country they enter. Not to mention the massive pressure on the NHS.

      Politicians must be held financially responsible to the people for actions of this kind they take in office. Tony Blair and his crew should be sacrificing their bounty to assist the women he imported in order to wipe the noses of the right in diversity. His entire fortune, including his assets, should be forfeited the same way it is forced on drug traders.

      It cannot be a secret because we know it is happening here under our noses. In the thousands.

      • Lord Blagger
        07/02/2014 at 9:15 pm

        In which case by your logic, MGM is women subjugating far more men than women.

        Don’t expect the state to do anything about MGM or FGM. Not in their interests to lift a finger.

  3. Gareth Howell
    07/02/2014 at 5:52 pm

    I’ll try to avoid replying to the Maude rant.

    This abuse of female children has nothing to do with hygiene,

    But the removal of the male prepuce is still thought by millions of people worldwide to be a matter of hygiene. One who lived in an all male instititution for 7 years, I can say with certainty that it still is, although standards of hygiene may be a little better today than they were 55 years ago when i was a child.
    One does see in the shower room from time to time, botched circumcisions, which look very painful.

    With regard to the “practices” done upon women, which have been discussed this week by Parliamentary committee, it was
    THOUGHT that theye were doing something hygienic, but with our modern knowledge, we know that is not the case, even with cervical cancer which was said to be transmitted by unclean males, sometimes from beneath the foreskin.

    Yet again pathology and immunology have come to the fore, and that the said barbaric practices may cease.
    I very much doubt whether any such thing ios happening in the UK, on any pretext.

    • maude elwes
      11/02/2014 at 8:20 am

      @Gareth Howell:

      My rant, as you call it, coming from an obvious eccentric with a persistent demonic tirade against the female of the species, defies reason you write.

      First, this thread is a topic of ‘female’ mutilation. And as male circumcision is carried out by an ‘all male’ team of consent must be addressed by same male of the species. The only part played in it by women is as mother of said child. Whom appear subjugated by the power of the men around her who propagate this act. ‘Men’ must rise up in defense of their penis, rather than rely on women to do the job for them.

      Which brings me to ask why you, as a male and not under threat personally in any way, feel you should have a say in something as horrendous as this act is toward women. Do you have a ‘Jack the Ripper’ complex and enjoy the idea of female butchery and wish to use the word ‘hygiene’ to give it substance?

      Can you please explain where you feel you fit in this issue and have a justifiable reason to refer to my expressed trepidation or horror of such an act as a rant? Your attitude strikes me as bizarre.

  4. Hansard Society
    Hansard Society
    11/02/2014 at 9:54 am

    A comment from Twitter…

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