Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 21st October 2020.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to eliminate (a) child, (b) early and (c) forced marriage and (d) female genital mutilation.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is a global leader in efforts to eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The UK invested £39 million in the UN and civil society programmes to end child marriage between 2015 and 2020 and also tackles child marriage through programmes to promote gender equality and girls' education. These actions have contributed to a 15% reduction of global prevalence of child marriage over the last decade, averting 25 million child marriages. Ending child marriage will remain a key focus, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister's commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls.

The UK's dedicated Forced Marriage Unit continues to lead efforts to combat forced marriage in the UK and provides dedicated support to victims and those at-risk. Since 2008, 2,605 Forced Marriage Protection Orders were issued related to marriages undertaken or planning in the UK and overseas.

The UK continues to lead the world in our support to the Africa-led movement to end FGM. Since 2013, the UK has supported over 10,000 communities to pledge to abandon FGM. In 2018 we announced a further £50 million for investments to galvanise leadership at the grassroots level in Africa, improve data quality and systems, support the UN and WHO, and to expand our programme in Sudan, which helped the country take steps to ban FGM this year.

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