Legislation Against Female Genital Mutilation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:56 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 4:56 pm, 11th February 2019

I know that the hon. Lady takes a great deal of interest in women’s issues, and I have been pleased to work with her on a number of issues that cross my Department. I know that many of them stretch beyond my Department as well. She talks about funding and the importance of working in the community, and she is right to identify the fact that this is not simply a matter of making laws. It is about action, education and understanding. Of course, laws must set the boundaries and tell people what is right and wrong, and this crime is absolutely horrific and must be stopped, but that is not the extent of the Government’s actions on FGM. The Home Office’s FGM unit is driving a step change in our nationwide outreach, and it has done more than 100 events across the country to raise awareness. The Department of Health and Social Care has provided £4 million for the national FGM prevention programme in partnership with NHS England. The Department for Education has provided nearly £2 million for a national programme to improve the social care response to FGM, and it has announced a further £1.7 million to continue that work. That is what is happening in this country; the Department for International Development does an extensive amount of work overseas in addition to that, to ensure that women worldwide do not suffer from this horrific practice.