Yardley MP Jess Phillips, in her role as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FGM, wants the UK to accelerate work on ending FGM.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects over 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales. Significant progress has been made at policy level in recent years. FGM laws have been strengthened, most government departments have shown a commitment to ending it, and the issue has been taken out of the sidelines and became front-page news.
However, despite the progress that has been made, systems are still not in place to ensure that girls at risk are fully protected, FGM survivors have not been given the support they need through the NHS and funding is not reaching those front line organisations working to end it. On October 11th 2017, International Day of the Girl, politicians from various political parties have come together to work together on an All-Party Parliamentary Group on ending FGM in the UK and around the world.
The APPG is calling for urgent change in three areas:
- FGM information should be included as part of PSHE and an integral part of all safeguarding protocols.
- The NHS should develop a comprehensive support system for survivors of FGM, which recognises their specific physical, psychological and emotional needs.
- An analysis of any existing government-funded programmes to end FGM should be undertaken to ensure maximum value for money and effectiveness. Our goal is that at least 90% of funding to end FGM is given directly to those front line organisations that have been effectively ending it around the world.
Jess Phillips MP said:
"We need to get the right systems in place across government to ensure every single girl at risk is protected, and PSHE is key to this. Educating girls about their rights is the best way to keep them safe."
"I believe it’s also vital that we look at psychological support for survivors and make sure that women are properly supported."