More Work needs to be done to tackle FGM, says AFRUCA

AGENCIES SHOULD DO MORE TO TACKLE FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION ACROSS GREATER MANCHESTER
– NEW AFRUCA REPORT

A new report by AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse launched today will call on various agencies across Greater Manchester to be more proactive in tackling female genital mutilation across the region by engaging closer with practising communities.

The report: “Voices of the Community – Exploring Female Genital Mutilation Across Greater Manchester” is the result of a 4 month study conducted by the charity to explore attitudes and experiences of communities regarding FGM. As part of this, Focus Group sessions were held with 12 different practising communities involving 110 participants. The results show that FGM is practised right across the region, is seen as a ‘private practice’ within families and there is a culture of silence surrounding it. The report highlights the implications of this for children who might be at risk of having the procedure done to them, or who might have had it done and require support.

Hekate Papadaki, Grants and Development Manager at Rosa The UK Fund for Women and Girls who funded the study said: “AFRUCA has undertaken a great piece of work and the findings are extremely important. There are not enough such studies carried out in the UK. AFRUCA’s unique position and expertise has allowed them access to information statutory organisations would be unable to gather and enables us to have a much better understanding of FGM in a range of African communities living in the UK.”
Debbie Ariyo OBE, Founder and Chief Executive of AFRUCA who led the study said: “This is a wake-up call for agencies across Greater Manchester to be a lot more pro-active in addressing the findings of this report. Certainly concerted efforts must be put in place across the board to work with communities, children, schools and help improve understanding among agency staff of the different forms of FGM and how they impact on children.”

A key recommendation in the report is the need to put in place services across Greater Manchester to provide support for victims and potential victims of FGM including children and adults. The report concluded that engaging in widespread community education programmes will help to raise awareness of the law on FGM and the consequences of offending. The report recommended conducting the above in a way that does not attack people’s culture but rather work with them to become stakeholders in the change needed to fight FGM through effective community education and engagement.

Notes to Editors
1. AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse is a national charity promoting the rights and welfare of African children in the UK. AFRUCA’s Head Office is in London with a Centre for African Children and Families in Manchester.

  1. The study:”Voices of the Community: Exploring Female Genital Mutilation Among African Communities in Greater Manchester took place between July and December 2014 and involved focus group sessions with 12 different communities and 80 participants. This study was funded by the ROSA Fund for Women and Girls.
  2. With funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, AFRUCA has also launched a new project involving 10 young people called Anti-FGM Champions to help campaign against FGM in their communities and in schools across Greater Manchester.
  3. Click on the following links to read and download both the summary and full report
  4. For enquiries and interviews please contact AFRUCA on 0161 205 9274 or email info@afruca.org
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