FGM

FGM

What does FGM mean? Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), cutting or Clitoridectomy (medical term) is a process which involves the complete or partial removal of the external female Genitalia (clitoris) or other injuries which may be caused to the female genital organs for reasons other than that of therapeutic or medical.

Types of FGM:

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris.
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia (the lips).
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal.
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes.

Health problems caused by FGM

  • Immediate complications: severe pain, shock, bleeding, tetanus or sepsis, urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue
  • Long-term consequences: recurrent bladder and urinary tract infection, infertility, an increased risk of childbirth complications and new-born deaths.

Activities:

  • Working with community advocates who are involved in outreach work to raise awareness of the harms and effects of FGM, and of the law and services for women affected by FGM.
  • Awareness raising workshops with women, young people and men.
  • On-going distribution of brochures and leaflets.
  • On-going work with religious leaders and scholars at 5 local Somali mosques to raise awareness that FGM is not a religiously condoned practice.
  • Involvement in local Safeguarding Forum.
  • On-going partnership working with Leicestershire NHS trust, NSPCC Balk Rasha project, Leicestershire Children and Young forum, Domestic Violence forum, Highfields Children and Young People Trust and LASS.
  • Informal weekly one-to-one conversations with women attending SDS centre.
  • Trainings for professionals working with the affected community.
  • Giving presentations about FGM to Multi-agency Forums.
  • Giving safeguarding trainings to the Somali parents.
  • Developing information materials for schools.
  • Participating regularly the meetings of different forums and organisations.
  • Dissemination event about the project which was attended more than 150 women.
  • Conducting a little survey participated more than 30 persons regarding how the Somali community in Leicester sees FGM and if it is practised in Leicester.

 

Progress:

  • Reached vast numbers of women affected by FGM, providing referrals and support to access care.
  • Increased awareness of health effects of FGM, and the illegality of FGM in the UK.
  • Increased occurrences of women campaigning against and rejecting FGM.
  • Working collaboratively with health professionals in community workshops with women.
  • Sharing information and expertise with other organisations.
  • Increased the number of women who are aware of that FGM is not a religious practice.
  • In the process of building relationship with different schools.

 

Challenges:

  • Intergenerational dialogue between younger and older generations in the local area.

Difficulty engaging schools and colleges in FGM work.

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