Learn more about our campaign to eliminate female genital mutilation in the United Kingdom.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice that involves removing or damaging external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, is a global issue. Around the world, at least 200 million girls and women have undergone, or at risk of undergoing, FGM - and hundreds of thousands of them live in the UK.
How common is FGM in the UK?
According to estimates published by Equality Now and the City University of London, despite FGM being illegal in the UK since 1985, approximately 137,000 women and girls are living with the consequences of FGM in England and Wales, and 60,000 girls were born to mothers who have undergone FGM.
“There is no time to waste on platitudes as thousands of girls living in England and Wales are having their life blighted by this damaging practice.”
Efua Dorkenoo, OBE (1949-2014), pioneering anti-FGM activist
For more than twenty years, Equality Now has been at the forefront of efforts to end FGM around the world. We are a leading organization in developing a coordinated ‘joined-up’ approach to addressing FGM, which breaks down the barriers around both preventing and prosecuting cases. We are committed to implementing systems that educate parents, professionals, and community leaders on their role protecting girls from FGM.
The advocacy of Equality Now and our partners contributed to the UN’s global ban on FGM in 2012, which was first time that the General Assembly put ending FGM on its agenda.
The UK Leads in Ending FGM
As Secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group on FGM, we undertook extensive efforts to successfully raise the visibility of FGM in the UK through the media, conferences, and community outreach and with the UK Home Office.
Through all of the steps below - and continued advocacy and media coverage - the UK is now one of the leading countries in the global movement to end FGM. We are adapting our comprehensive approach to fit other country contexts, including the United States and across Africa.