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Female Genital Mutilation

Home Office written question – answered on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to protect British girls in the Dawoodi Bohra community from female genital mutilation, in the light of the sermon by Supreme Leader Mufaddal Saifuddin on 25 April urging that all girls must undergo that procedure.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Parliamentary Under-Secretary

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. We will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.

We will not stop FGM until we have changed attitudes within communities. The Government works closely with a range of community and faith groups, including Muslim women's groups, to tackle FGM. Over 350 faith leaders from all the major faiths have signed a declaration condemning FGM. They have declared that it is not required by their religions and is a form of child abuse. The declaration makes clear that all religions will work together to end FGM for good. We continue to work with community organisations and survivors through the Governments FGM Unit's stakeholder group and outreach programme to drive this work forward.

In 2014 the Government ran a national communications campaign to raise awareness. We also funded 29 community engagement projects, including a network of community champions, who are reaching thousands of women and girls affected by FGM, and, importantly, their families. The work of these projects has included training for teachers, awareness sessions in local mosques, and the establishment of a new national website for, and by, young people giving information about how to prevent FGM. The Department for Communities and Local Government has established a network of community champions which is operating in London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham. Champions are working with local people to address the myths that sustain FGM and to help keep girls safe.

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