Symposium on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Symposium will explore the impact of FGM
Discussions on how to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have been happening in Britain for the last 30 years. The UK government passed its first law on FGM in 1985 and since then, there has not been one single prosecution.
This symposium will aim to explore beneath the surface, to understand what it means to be, or to have been a child, affected by the practice of FGM, and how this has impacted on their lives. This discussion of the child’s journey will be placed in the context of what FGM means to the affected communities. This will lead to a critical evaluation of current UK policies to deter the practice and will ask whether British practitioners have enough training on FGM to safeguard children from undergoing FGM?
Delegates will hear contributions from three speakers, who will address the topic from their perspectives of practice and research and this will be followed by an open discussion. This event will be of interest to practitioners, policy makers, academics and researchers, including those implementing the UK government’s law on FGM mandatory reporting duty.
The conference is hosted by the Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR), the Victoria Climbie Foundation (VCF) and the BME & Migrant Advisory Group for safeguarding children and young people (B-MAG)
The three speakers and the titles of their talks are as follows:
Toks Okeniyi: Is the FGM Legislation in the best interest of the child?
Toks Okeniyi is the Head of Programmes and Operations at FORWARD (Foundation for women’s health, research and development), the lead organisation in the UK tackling female genital mutilation (FGM) and other violence against women and girls’ issues. At FORWARD Toks leads on the planning and delivery of Psychosocial Educational sessions on FGM working with families whose children were taken away under the suspicion that they have or might be planning to put their daughters through FGM. Toks holds a post-graduate qualification in Law and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and Chattered Management Institute UK. She is also a magistrate.
Millie Patel: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – To Prosecute or Educate as a Way Forward?
Millie will present an analysis from her own research in surveying current attitudes and awareness of young people on the issue of FGM. Millie Patel is in her second year of sixth form at Forest School, Walthamstow. She completed her Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) on the subject of FGM; including an in-depth interview with a leading authority on FGM in the UK, and the Victoria Climbié Foundation (VCF) with whom she continues to be involved to ensure the views of young people are included within the national debate.
Fatuma Farah: The different lens to look at FGM. FGM is child abuse in the UK but how is it seen by some of the practicing communities?
Fatuma Farah is currently studying FGM for her PhD in the Centre for Social Work Research at the University of East London. For her research, Fatuma has undertaken over 20 in-depth interviews with individuals who have experienced FGM personally, or in the context of their families and communities. She will discuss her interviews and early findings from the research. Fatuma is also a psychotherapist who works with FGM victims and survivors.
University of East London