Today is zero tolerance day to female genital mutilation

Today, Monday 6 February, is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Zero Tolerance Day and campaigning trade union UNISON Cymru/Wales, wants to see more being done to stop this barbaric, harmful mutilation of girls and women.

As recently as 2014, the Wales FGM Forum reported more than 600 women are living with full or partially removed genitals in Wales.

FGM is the mutilation of female genitalia and can be performed on girls from infancy to age 15 and above.  There is no medical reason for this and it is usually performed by non-medically trained people as part of a cultural or religious reason.  If the procedure is not performed properly, or an infection starts due to non sterile equipment being used, it can cause devastating damaging affects to the girls’ future lives.

Jennifer Griffin, UNISON Cymru/Wales organiser for Women’s rights, said,

“This is another abuse and human rights violation to girls.  It is time to stand together and change the actions of others that affect girls and women’s lives globally, on a daily basis.

“The back street surgeries and home mutilations are still going on throughout the world.  The more awareness raising we can do then the more victims or potential victims will come forward to help stop this ritual abuse.  FGM is now a serious crime which results in a jail sentence but we need to do more to support the victims to reduce the fear and give them the strength to report this atrocious act and help them to feel safe when reporting this abuse.

“We need to create more cultural and religious awareness for children and young girls that the ritual is barbaric, they do not have to go through this and that they can be protected.”

The trade union commended the development of an NHS all-Wales clinical pathway for use with all women with FGM.