FGM Workshop – Female Genital Mutilation
A 2020 Dreams FGM workshop is a powerful way to ensure members of vulnerable communities are fully informed as to the UK’s stance on FGM and what they can do if they have concerns. FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is regarded by most people as an unacceptable practice which leads to psychological and physical harm – and sometimes death – for the girls and young women who undergo the procedure. Nevertheless, it is still a reality for hundreds of millions of people, predominantly in parts of Africa.
FGM is an umbrella term describing a number of different operations which all entail the removal of parts of the female genitalia. Although data can be difficult to collect, the practice seems to be most prevalent in Somalia, Egypt, Mali and Sudan and is also widespread in the Central African Republic, Eritrea, the Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria.
The operation can be performed at any time, from birth up to pregnancy, and is widely regarded as an unwanted relic of old tribal customs and as a tool for sexual control with no medical purpose. Contrary to popular opinion, FGM is not part of any one religious faith.
Analysing trends regarding FGM in Africa is complicated with some data indicating that the practice is becoming less common but others suggesting that there has instead been a switch to less extreme procedures (e.g. clitoridectomy, sometimes termed ‘sunna’). Regardless of the type of FGM performed, the lack of a physical reason for the procedure has led to the adoption of the term ‘female genital mutilation.’
FGM Workshops in the UK
The UK government are unambiguous when it comes to their stance on female genital mutilation. Since 1985, performing any type of FGM in the UK has been illegal. What’s more, since 2003 it has also been a criminal offence for a UK citizen to take a girl overseas to have the operation. A teacher, or any adult who is responsible for a child’s welfare, is legally obliged to report any suspicion or evidence of FGM in a minor to the Police. Breaching an FGM Protection Order is punishable by five years’ imprisonment.
Nevertheless, since 2013 over a thousand girls have contacted the NSPCC regarding FGM with a third of these queries resulting in referrals to either the Police or social services. The total number of girls and young women affected by FGM in the UK is believed to be around 137,000.
Tackling FGM Workshop through Sensitive Debate
While making it clear that FGM is illegal and considered abusive in the UK, an FGM workshop must be careful not to stigmatise any students or their families – some who may consented to the operation. 2020 Dreams FGM workshops are designed with the utmost sensitivity to ensure that the language used and the information given are both age appropriate and sensitive to cultural context.
Only by talking about FGM can we hope to advocate for its eradication but only by engaging with the communities involved can that conversation be constructive. If you have any concerns about the content and format of a 2020 Dreams FGM workshop, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Why Book a 2020 Dreams FGM Workshop
Not only can an FGM workshop help girls and young women to understand why FGM is considered abusive and what they can do to access help, it can also raise awareness about the signs of potential FGM. For example, by attending an FGM workshop, class teachers can become alert to any behaviour changes and suspicious circumstances surrounding them.
Some factors to look out for include incidences of self-harm, changes in behaviour or time off school sick, especially if they coincide with the visit of an older relative or following a holiday abroad. Of course, FGM is more relevant to some communities than others and there are many other reasons which can manifest in the above symptoms.
Consider booking a 2020 Dreams FGM Workshop if you feel that your students (or young people from the community of which your students belong) are at risk of FGM.
Book a FGM Workshop Today
To book this workshop please complete the online booking form
or call us on 0800 471 4983
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