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Department for International Development written question – answered on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits of supporting developing countries to criminalise FGM.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Female Genital Mutilation is a human rights abuse and an extreme form of gender discrimination. Criminalising FGM and properly enforcing the law is key to ending the practice. The UK has already supported The Gambia, Nigeria, and Mauritania to make FGM illegal. DFID recently allocated £2.5 million to the UN, to work with governments to enforce laws in countries where FGM is already illegal but continues to be practised. Evidence shows that legal change is a critical step towards changing attitudes towards FGM. But this must be part of a multi-pronged approach with community-led change at its heart. The UK supports the Africa-led Movement to end FGM, which works at several levels, including by empowering grassroots activists to hold their governments to account.

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