Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

I welcome my hon. Friend’s statement on the strategy for tackling violence against women and girls, and I welcome her personal commitment. I am grateful to her and her ministerial colleagues and officials for meeting me to discuss the new clauses I will address. She is no doubt aware of the campaigners from Karma Nirvana, IKWRO, the Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation and others who worked with me on my proposed new clauses 1 and 2 of the Health and Care Bill to end so-called virginity testing and hymenoplasty. They, like me, will welcome her statement that we will criminalise virginity testing. We must also look to tackle hymenoplasty, and do it now. Will the Minister examine new clauses 1 and 2 and meet me and colleagues to discuss them again and ensure that further progress can be made in this Session?