UK - STATISTICAL STUDY TO ESTIMATE THE PREVALENCE OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION - FGM - IN ENGLAND & WALES
In October 2007, FORWARD published 'A Statistical Study to Estimate the Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales'. The study revealed that over 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
Funded by the Department of Health and in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Department of Midwifery, City University, the study reveals that nearly 66,000 women with FGM are living in England and Wales (2001) and that there are nearly 16,000 girls under the age of 15 at high risk of WHO Type III FGM and over 5,000 at high risk of WHO Type I or Type II.
Efua Dorkenoo, OBE, the Principal Investigator of the study, said "The United Nations has recognised female genital mutilation (FGM) as a human rights violation and the practice is prohibited in the UK under the FGM Act (2003), Children Act and other legislations. Yet lack of reliable data on FGM prevalence has until now marginalised the issue. This study represents a major first step to fill the gap in available data on FGM. The estimates of FGM provided in this study highlight the need not only to enhance health care for girls and adult women who have already undergone FGM but calls for systematic actions to prevent FGM being passed on to the younger generation."
Baroness Joyce Gould, FORWARD patron said "This study suggests that the practice is on the increase. It is hoped that the results of the study will support the planning and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy in the UK that will help to expedite efforts to end FGM within a generation."
The Department of Health's response to the study states that "The Department is pleased to have supported and funded this important study that continues to profile FGM issues, a key objective of which is bringing an understanding to practising communities that such mutilation is unacceptable".
The findings of the study highlight the urgent need for greater partnership work between the statutory agencies, third sector organisations and practising communities
'A Statistical Study to Estimate the Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales' is now available for download.