Girls from the UK are being subjected to illegal genital mutilation, despite the devastating consequences, a University of Leicester postgraduate student claims … //
… Sadiyo added: “This conference aims to raise a higher level of public awareness of FGM and to allow the voices of women, who either have been a victim of FGM or are at risk of undergoing the procedure, to be heard. In addition, the conference aims to build a lasting dialogue between the communities who practise FGM and religious scholars, health care professionals and the local authorities. The time has come to move forward and face the reality. FGM is a painful reality and we need to educate ourselves and those whom we live with, so that FGM will never be practised again.”
Comfort Momoh (a UK midwife and FGM Consultant) said: “Young girls in the UK come to me and say: ‘we don’t understand why they are doing this to us. They are supposed to be our loved ones, our mother, aunts and grandmothers’.” Comfort also said: “A lot of young girls don’t know the types and differences of FGM. Some of them don’t even know that they’ve had it done.”
Salado, (a survivor of FGM), said: “Different people have tried to raise FGM awareness but nothing like this has ever been done before in Leicester where large FGM-practising communities are based. Having this conference at the University of Leicester where representatives from different sectors are under the same roof to make dialogue and to educate in order to eradicate FGM is revolutionary for us. Our community need not shy away from the fact that we need to be educated.”
Dr Primrose Freestone, a lecturer at the University of Leicester, has been helping Sadiyo organise the FGM conference. She said: “At the University of Leicester we believe strongly in supporting our students, not only in terms of their research, but also in activities of wider importance to society. I am very proud of the work that Sadiyo has been pioneering to raise the public awareness of FGM, and I share with her the hope that this conference will open up a community dialogue that will finally lead to the end of FGM.”
Birgit Lewis, the Student Volunteering Co-ordinator at the University of Leicester said: “The University’s Enterprising Volunteers project set out to help students, with a burning passion for a community issue, to enable them to realise their idea. It is a privilege to work with students so inspiring and passionate as Sadiyo who have the courage to spearhead a campaign on a sensitive issue such as FGM.” (full text).