Be vigilant – warning to schools ahead of ‘cutting season’

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Extra vigilance is being urged in all schools across the city and county in their support of girls at risk of FGM ahead of the summer.

As the summer is fast approaching Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Safeguarding Partnerships have written to all schools warning that this time of year signals increased risk and vulnerability for some girls from communities which practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

A letter has been shared, across all educational and early years’ settings in the city and county to support education and early years’ colleagues, urge them to be extra vigilant, be aware of children at greater risk of FGM and refer any concerns immediately.

Anyone who suspects that a girl or young woman is at high risk of or has already undergone FGM are advised to contact: Nottingham City Council Children and Families Direct: 0115 876 4800 or Nottinghamshire County Council (MASH) on: 0300 500 80 90.

In 2016, Mojatu Foundation was instrumental in getting Nottingham City to declare Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – the first city in UK and Europe to do so.

Valentine Nkoyo, CEO of Mojatu Foundation, said: “Attitudes towards FGM are changing. We are seeing communities value girls’ and women’s rights and advocate for better gender equality. But the change we need is not coming fast enough. Some girls will still be at great risk this summer. We must do all we can to protect them and change attitudes for good.”

Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities, at Nottingham City Council, said: “I am proud that Nottingham takes a proactive lead on addressing FGM through our strong partnership.

“We will reach every school, nursery and childminder in the city and county. We will equip our workforce to know the signs to looks out for and the action to take to report their concerns. We will work with health, social care, the voluntary sector and of course the police.”

“FGM is not tolerated in Nottingham. If you are planning to practice FGM we will spot you, we will stop you and will we protect our girls from this needless violence. If you are worried about a girl, please do the right thing and help her, just call 101 or inform the child’s school of your concerns.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the pledge to support Nottingham’s Zero-Tolerance position on FGM – click here: https://bit.ly/2FwFCly

Key facts from the World Health Organisation

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated (1).
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Procedures

Female genital mutilation is classified into 4 major types.

  • Type 1: Often referred to as clitoridectomy, this is the partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals), and in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
  • Type 2: Often referred to as excision, this is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without excision of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva ).
  • Type 3: Often referred to as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy).
  • Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.  

Mojatu Foundation is a UK registered charity that transforms communities through health, education & training, media and gender equality. Visit our website on www.mojatufoundation.org  Mojatu Foundation’s registered charity number to the section about us: 1167557

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