A FREE training session designed to raise awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the devastating impact it has on women and girls is being held in Tamworth this month.
Organised by the Borough Council’s Community Safety Team, the training is aimed at police officers, teachers, health visitors, social workers and anyone else who may come into contact with communities who are most at risk of the practice.
It takes place at Rawlett School in Comberford Road on Tuesday, September 29, from 9am to 12noon and will cover:
- Increased understanding of FGM
- FGM and the law in the UK
- FGM and safeguarding
- What to do if you are concerned about someone who is at risk of, or has undergone, FGM.
- Equipping delegates with the skills to train others about FGM and safeguarding.
The World Health Organisation estimates that three million girls undergo some form of Female Genital Mutilation, also known as ‘cutting’ or circumcision, in Africa every year. According to the Home Office, it is practised in 28 countries in Africa, as well as some countries in the Middle East and Asia.
It is also found in the UK among members of migrant communities, with estimates suggesting that around 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM.
UK communities considered to be most at risk include Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani.
Female Genital Mutilation is not a religious requirement or obligation and is not supported by any religious doctrine. The procedure is a form of abuse and can have serious consequences for a woman’s health and in some instances can even lead to death.
It is a criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for anyone, regardless of their nationality or residential status, to perform or assist in the carrying out of FGM.
As children are often taken overseas for the procedure to be performed, it is also an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to perform FGM on any person abroad, or to take a female to another country to be subjected to the abuse. The laws apply even in countries where FGM is not a criminal offence.
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Public Health, said: “Female Genital Mutilation is a grave violation of the rights of women and girls and cases are increasingly being documented in the UK.
“While it’s not a widespread problem in Tamworth, it is something that people should be aware of, particularly the education, health and social care professionals who may come into contact with people from African communities and others deemed to be at risk.”
Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the course is being delivered by the charity 28 Too Many, which aims to end FGM in the 28 African countries where it is practised and elsewhere.
Free places on the workshop can be booked by contacting Tamworth Borough Council Community Safety Officer Vicki Hewins on 07973 460128, or via email at Vickifirstname.lastname@example.org.