FGM in the UK, illegal since 1985 but no prosecutions, how can we change this?

(371 Posts)
OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 20:20:56

I have just read this article stating that two people have been arrested for performing Female Genital Mutilation on a baby less than two months old.

The UK's efforts to end FGM are being seriously held back by a lack of national strategy or action plan. There are plenty of guidelines out there for teachers, midwives, social workers, police and so on, but they are not obligatory reading and many people in positions where they could identify victims and girls and women at risk are simply not aware of the problem or the role they could play in fixing it. this documentary explains this problem very well and the woman presenting it has created a petition asking the home office to act now and create an effective national action plan.

Please, please sign it and share it. FGM breaches numerous human rights including the right to no torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and causes lifelong physical and psychological trauma to it's survivors. In some cases FGM is fatal.

hermioneweasley Thu 14-Nov-13 20:24:47


piebald Thu 14-Nov-13 20:26:29


mumaa Thu 14-Nov-13 20:26:29


Lilacroses Thu 14-Nov-13 20:28:06


thenewqueen Thu 14-Nov-13 20:28:12


Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 14-Nov-13 20:29:43


PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Thu 14-Nov-13 20:30:57


piebald Thu 14-Nov-13 20:31:31

If you change the title of this thread you may catch more peoples attention and therefore more signatures on the petition

somewheresomehow Thu 14-Nov-13 20:33:16


MySiamese Thu 14-Nov-13 20:34:17

signed and shared


KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 14-Nov-13 20:35:21


clpsmum Thu 14-Nov-13 20:35:34


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 20:36:23

Thank you all flowers

Pie what should I change to?

missmash Thu 14-Nov-13 20:36:48

Signed, but agree with piebald, think a change of title will help get more much needed signatories. Good on you for starting though.

Livingtothefull Thu 14-Nov-13 20:38:52


MrsBennington Thu 14-Nov-13 20:39:00

Much as I find FGM abhorrent I really can not see how any "action plan" or "national strategy" can work when it is the parent (carer) determined to do this in the "name" of their religion. Its hideous but it needs the communities that do this to start standing up and saying its unacceptable and not some government "initiative".

DinosaurTooScary Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:15


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 20:44:21

MrsBennington it would help by equipping professionals who may come across children at risk with the knowledge they would need to stop it.

For example a little girl may be telling her teacher that she is going on holiday and will come back grown up, if the teacher is not aware of FGM, or is aware of FGM but is not sure what she can do about it, or who to speak to. Or even is afraid to do anything for fear of being seen as racist then the girl would be taken away and mutilated when it could have been prevented.

JackNoneReacher Thu 14-Nov-13 20:44:27

Signed, I'd love to see something done about this.

I disagree MrsB. If it became obligatory to report babies at risk or those who had already done it (with a view to prosecute) it would send a very clear message. That it will not be tolerated. Feels at the moment that it is brushed off as 'cultural' still by some.

LaGuardia Thu 14-Nov-13 20:44:32

Shared and signed.

nosleeptillbedtime Thu 14-Nov-13 20:45:25

Signed. I was appalled when a friend of mine, who is a child psychologist, defended FGM as a cultural practice!!!!!!

MrsBennington, I am not sure if is done in the name of religion, isn't it more of a cultural practice? It does largely take place in muslim communities, but does exist in some christian communities as well, as I understand it.

JackNoneReacher Thu 14-Nov-13 20:47:46

how about???


...to ask for you help in stopping female genital mutilation

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 20:48:52


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 20:56:39

The documentary I linked to in the OP is fantastic, I've seen a fair few documentaries on the topic through work and this one is by far the best I've seen. Anyone who is interested in learning more about FGM really should watch it, there is a particularly interesting section where some young men from a practicing community, who initially support FGM, learn what actually happens. One nearly faints on seeing a Plasticine model and they all swear not to allow their daughters be cut in the future.

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 14-Nov-13 21:06:55

Mrs Bennington we could start by treating it as the crime it is. Thousands of British children are mutilated either here or abroad every year and nobody has EVER been charged in this country because our judiciary is scared of being called racist/anti-islamic. Until we throw the book at any parents whose daughters are found to have had this done, they will not stop.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Thu 14-Nov-13 21:07:08

Signed and shared on my Facebook.

foslady Thu 14-Nov-13 21:09:11


MrsBennington Thu 14-Nov-13 21:12:40

Ovary and Jack I will sign any petition in the hope it would end this barbaric practice but I'm a little bit realistic and realise these religious fanatics will carry on regardless.

Even if it was obligatory to report babies at risk it would be something "excused" for cultural etc humanrights rubbish.

The "Female Genital Mutilation Act" has been in place since at least 2003 however I believe there has never been a conviction under it.

I'm not saying it's right but the cultures that are doing this obviously believe it is the right thing and that is where any targeting needs to be done.

Ladyhawke127 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:15:01


Icepilot Thu 14-Nov-13 21:15:47


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 21:22:00

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and there has not been a conviction yet, you're right.

By creating a national action plan which will make the professionals who come into contact with children at risk of FGM, or women who have already undergone FGM and may continue the tradition with their daughters, understand what FGM really is, know that they have a duty to do something about it and to know what they are supposed to do if they suspect a girl is at risk.

Around a third of midwives in the uk have encountered a pregnant or labouring woman with FGM and the majority have not known where to refer her for appropriate treatment, or known the procedure for reporting her children as being at risk. If this were different, think how many children could already have been protected.

Topsymummy Thu 14-Nov-13 21:22:27



ShirleySharpeyes Thu 14-Nov-13 21:28:39


ExcuseTypos Thu 14-Nov-13 21:31:23


SkinnybitchWannabe Thu 14-Nov-13 21:33:35

I watched the documentary as signed the petition whilst I was watching it.
We need to protect all those young girls who are at risk. We need as much publicity as possible.
Im glad the young men were shown so graphically what happens.
Ive shared the petition on Facebook and Twitter.
We owe it to all those girls

MammaTJ Thu 14-Nov-13 21:36:01

it would help by equipping professionals who may come across children at risk with the knowledge they would need to stop it.

I am a first year student nurse, only weeks in to my training. I can assure you, I have been very well informed on this, even as 'adult' nurse. We 'may' come in to contact with a child who is at risk while looking after an adult!

The session I had on this was extremely traumatic, and meant to be and will not be forgotten by me or anyone else in the room in a hurry!


dancemom Thu 14-Nov-13 21:36:41


thank you

Theenormouscrocodile Thu 14-Nov-13 21:40:12


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 21:41:14

That's great to hear Mamma things are obviously improving then, I have two midwife friends who trained in the mid 90s and early naughties and had not had any training on FGM

DumSpiroSpero Thu 14-Nov-13 21:42:41

Signed and shared on FB & Twitter.

Will also flag it up with our family outreach team when I go back to work next week. Our community isn't massively diverse, but enough that it could happen whilst being unlikely enough that people won't be aware/educated on the subject.

PolterGoose Thu 14-Nov-13 21:44:40


Xfirefly Thu 14-Nov-13 21:44:50

signed XXX

Corygal Thu 14-Nov-13 21:44:58


AngiBolen Thu 14-Nov-13 21:48:11


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:45

Have changed the title now, so hopefully will get a bit more attention

Stanislas Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:56

Please post this on Gransnet .

getouttheroad Thu 14-Nov-13 21:57:27


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 22:01:12

Done Stanislas

Mintyy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:03:32

Does Mumsnet not have an active and ongoing campaign against fgm? I'm a bit shocked if not.

MrsBennington Thu 14-Nov-13 22:05:45

Seriously WHAT is proposed to be done with mothers who have already endured this agony/torture themselves but are quite prepared to put their little girl through it? Nothing probably which s why there have been no convictions under that law

OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 22:06:57

It doesn't appear so, I just had a look in the campaigns bit and this was posted about a year ago and got 6 replies, none of them from MNHQ

JumpingJackSprat Thu 14-Nov-13 22:08:09

signed it.

OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 22:10:31

To be fair, no mother would choose to put their child through this if they felt they had another option. The people who do this are not monsters, they really do want the best for their daughters. There is usually a huge social stigma in not being cut.

ColdTeaAgain Thu 14-Nov-13 22:12:06


FreudiansSlipper Thu 14-Nov-13 22:12:11

i have already watched and signed

there are a few campaigns, it is very difficult to get involved in any way with some communities this is why this campaign may have a bigger impact being led by someone who has been through it rather than someone telling people you are wrong our way is right

Meglet Thu 14-Nov-13 22:13:07

For tweeters there are @leylahussein , @daughtersofeve , @NimkoAli and @felicitygerry to follow. They've been in the media recently trying to raise awareness of FGM.

signed and shared on FB.

NutcrackerFairy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:15:15


Thisvehicleisreversing Thu 14-Nov-13 22:15:16


Queenofknickers Thu 14-Nov-13 22:15:36

Signed - well done for raising OP

Pleasenomorepeppa Thu 14-Nov-13 22:17:20


Viviennemary Thu 14-Nov-13 22:22:48

There was a programme about this on the other week. I didn't see it all. And people from communities that practice this horrible deed are getting together and speaking out against it. Can anybody remind me if I am right in saying I think I heard on the programme that there has yet to be a prosecution in the UK for this. Although there has been prosecutions in Europe. Thanks.

NothinToSeeHere Thu 14-Nov-13 22:24:38


WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 14-Nov-13 22:27:16


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 22:27:32

yes that's right. No prosecutions here yet. There's been murmurs the last year or so of arrests and there being a likelihood of a prosecution happening soon but how soon is soon I have no idea. At one point, earlier this year I read an article which said there were 5 possible cases and it was likely that at least two would result in prosecutions, but it all went quiet again.

Viviennemary Thu 14-Nov-13 22:32:47

Thanks OvaryAction. Let's hope that the raising of awareness will do something to stop this horrific practice.

magimedi Thu 14-Nov-13 22:34:39


I have not the words to express my horror & repugnanace for this practice.


But that article admits that they will be getting away with it. I don't think an action plan is going to make any difference. The government can't act against minorities without losing their votes so will let it carry on.

They were only able to make FGM illegal on the basis that they didn't enforce it.

BigArea Thu 14-Nov-13 22:40:12


murasaki Thu 14-Nov-13 23:01:24


There was an article in the standard this evening talking about how women who have spoken out against it have received abuse online etc. appalling.


OvaryAction Thu 14-Nov-13 23:28:43

thanks for sharing murasaki that's awful sad

Ivy12 Thu 14-Nov-13 23:40:23


satsumasunrise Thu 14-Nov-13 23:55:17

Signed and sickened.

whois Fri 15-Nov-13 00:03:57

Appropriate punishment? Castration with a lung stone and no anesthetic for the fathers and sterilisation for the mothers. No one who does this to their child should be in a position to have more children.

BoohPear Fri 15-Nov-13 00:05:02


Gruntfuttock Fri 15-Nov-13 00:05:33

Signed, and it's obscene and completely outrageous that such atrocities are still being carried out on helpless babies and children in the 21st century.

AnyBagsofOxfordFuckers Fri 15-Nov-13 00:07:06


Misspixietrix Fri 15-Nov-13 00:08:25

VivienneMary yes that's right. For what its worth I think awareness of the Current Statute should be heightened and children at risk kept a close eye on. This is a practice that is already happening underground and to me its about educating these people. DC's DF is African and I assure you it is definately more a Cultural thing than a Religious one (Ex is Roman Catholic!). Apparently in the area where he comes from most women are cut because it 'stops them bring unfaithful' hmm. There was a programme on a while ago where Parents were taking their children out the country to unqualified Doctors/Medics. Apparently France routinely check girls up until the age of 6? At health clinics etc for signs of this.something like that would be a good idea for over here without fearof offending someone.

Notsobad Fri 15-Nov-13 00:11:27


TheOldestCat Fri 15-Nov-13 00:15:36


sashh Fri 15-Nov-13 07:41:17


It has nothing to do with religion.

It is appalling that no one has been prosecuted but not as appalling as British doctors doing this in British hospitals which was happening in the early 1980s.

SwishAndFlick Fri 15-Nov-13 07:49:32

Signed & Shared.

I am in my early twenties and sadly I had not heard of FGM until I joined Mumsnet and read a thread about it neither had a lot of my friends but have been reading about it since. So clearly more needs to be done in spreading this around.

Sgned, but how shocking that we need to petition and beg to get something done regarding this.

CPP should be prosecuting as a matter of course.

Mumrose Fri 15-Nov-13 07:55:42


KittensoftPuppydog Fri 15-Nov-13 08:10:03


ZillionChocolate Fri 15-Nov-13 08:25:21



vixsatis Fri 15-Nov-13 11:53:39


JackNoneReacher Fri 15-Nov-13 12:01:17

IMO if a family mutilates their daughter like this, she should be removed (and any younger girls who are obviously at risk)

But this is taken from the below document from Birmingham Child protection procedures. It seems to infer that if its don't its done, move on. charges may be brought.

wtf??? you can cut bits off your daughter and charges 'may' be brought...

It seems the authorities have their own 'culture' of slightly turning a blind eye because its 'cultural'.

^It is not always appropriate to carry out section 47 enquiries in respect of
a girl who has undergone genital mutilation. When the operation has
taken place, a criminal offence may have been committed and charges
may be brought, but it is likely that there will be no further child protection
concerns in respect of the individual child concerned. In this situation
any action taken should focus on:
• The position of any younger girls in the family;


Signed. Thank you OP.

Astarael Fri 15-Nov-13 12:21:15


CuttedUpPear Fri 15-Nov-13 12:23:24


Theimpossiblegirl Fri 15-Nov-13 12:27:31

That is a really good point about birthing mothers. it would be a good place to start- if they have girls they need to be educated and watched to help protect them. I'm not saying the mothers would do this to their daughters or want it done, but it would be a starting point in identifying at risk girls.

Signed and shared.

Could Mumsnet as an organisation do more? New campaign? As mums and women we are all keen to be involved.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 15-Nov-13 12:29:49

People I talk to about this who've worked in the area say it's not ONLY a case of preventing it happening to girls, but also of helping those who have had it done. Often there are things that can be done both surgically, and in terms of counselling to get over what is basically a horrific attack by your own trusted family.

Too often I think it's seen as if for the girls and women who have experienced this "it's too late, onto the next", whereas more needs to be done to relieve their suffering as well. Also I would bet that improving their treatment would reduce the numbers who are prepared to agree to their own daughters going through this.

EldritchCleavage Fri 15-Nov-13 12:30:14

Apparently France routinely check girls up until the age of 6? At health clinics etc for signs of this.something like that would be a good idea for over here

No, I think it would be hideous and counter-productive.

JackNoneReacher Fri 15-Nov-13 12:38:51

As long as their are no consequences for the people who carry this out it will continue.

Cailleach Fri 15-Nov-13 12:51:26

"FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and there has not been a conviction yet, you're right. "

Imagine for a moment if a native Brit, a "white" person did this to their child: they would be locked up for a considerable amount of time and their offspring would be removed from their care.

Why the double standard? Why are little brown and black British girls not worthy of the same care and attention?


FreudiansSlipper Fri 15-Nov-13 12:51:38

if you watch the documentary and listen to what the men are saying you can see where the blame lies

but the woman are doing it out of fear of their daughters not being able to get married. educating the younger generation is the way forward but how to bring about prosecutions is very difficult it has to be both parents not just the one who was there when it happened as that will always be the mother

helenthemadex Fri 15-Nov-13 12:53:04

horrific practice I have cared for women who has had FGM its awful the life long suffering they will endure, signed and shared on facebook

myroomisatip Fri 15-Nov-13 12:55:49


Shocked at no prosecutions! sad

Branleuse Fri 15-Nov-13 13:07:15

I think girls at risk should be routinely checked by a sensitive female doctor, and anyone pregnant from countries where it is prevalent, or parents, need to be identified and educated. It is too important an issue to be wishy washy about.

EldritchCleavage Fri 15-Nov-13 13:11:39

Easy to say girls should be checked when you are white European and it isn't going to happen to you. I'm half-African, I think how I would feel it it were done to me.

The horror of regularly holding little girls down and exposing their genitals makes my blood run cold. The fact that the French do it does not recommend it to me quite the opposite.

SunnyRandall Fri 15-Nov-13 13:45:58


worm77daisy Fri 15-Nov-13 13:48:35


Diesel7 Fri 15-Nov-13 14:20:37


Rhythmisadancer Fri 15-Nov-13 14:24:37


WhereIsMyHat Fri 15-Nov-13 14:28:59

I've already signed and shared this via Facebook as I used to be a stuMW and all my old uni mates had shared also. We live and trained in an area where the incidence of FGM is quite high so it is very talked about but, I agree that there needs to be legislation or protocol that allows HCPs to flag up concerns to a relevant service etc.

Mrs.Bennington, what so you suggest we, as a country, so about the issue of FGM? Do you think that just because it's cultural that the practice cannot change? Over history many babaric things have changed even though they were cultural and it's because people, like us and everyone signing and involved with petition, made a stand and got things changed through knowledge, education, relevant legislation and convictions. We have to do something about this.

hoochymama1 Fri 15-Nov-13 15:44:40


OvaryAction Fri 15-Nov-13 15:59:50

I personally don't think that routinely checking girls at risk would be appropriate or helpful. I think it could cause more of an 'us and them' dialogue which would cause the practice to become even more secretive.

Plus, the girls would eventually come to an age where they would be able to refuse the checks and I suspect the FGM would simply be postponed and performed after this age.

Signed. I read Waris Dirie (sp?) book years ago....sad

I have read a few articles on FGM in Indonesia, too.

OvaryAction Fri 15-Nov-13 16:08:12

Ooh! This thread has made discussions of the day!

Fingers crossed this means loads more signatures!

RiceBurner Fri 15-Nov-13 16:15:38


OvaryAction Fri 15-Nov-13 16:38:01


WinterWinds Fri 15-Nov-13 17:05:40

I also signed the petition when the documentary was aired on TV.

thegreylady Fri 15-Nov-13 17:12:53


FairPhyllis Fri 15-Nov-13 17:16:37


Holdthepage Fri 15-Nov-13 17:18:37

Signed & thanks for posting this.


RafflesWay Fri 15-Nov-13 17:23:26


tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 15-Nov-13 17:33:07


singaporefling Fri 15-Nov-13 17:35:00


stickysausages Fri 15-Nov-13 17:49:25

Will sign. I was shocked & disgusted to hear this morning that girls are being brought to Scotland to have this done. I can't believe that in this day & age, this happens. How backwards must these people be sad

colafrosties Fri 15-Nov-13 17:56:41


MissMarplesBloomers Fri 15-Nov-13 18:00:18

Signed- makes me sick.

ChrisTheSheep Fri 15-Nov-13 18:13:35


Mirage Fri 15-Nov-13 18:36:14


Pixel Fri 15-Nov-13 19:27:14

Easy to say girls should be checked when you are white European and it isn't going to happen to you. I'm half-African, I think how I would feel it it were done to me.

The horror of regularly holding little girls down and exposing their genitals makes my blood run cold. The fact that the French do it does not recommend it to me quite the opposite.

You see this is what happens as soon as we suggest actually taking some action against this. Accusations of racism.
How the hell do we stop this if we don't even know who has been cut and who hasn't? If parents who mutilate their daughters know full well that no one will find out? There is no other way and that's why it will carry on, petition or no petition.

Being looked at by a medical professional to assertain if FGM has taken place will surely take seconds, being held down and mutilated is a lifetime of suffering.

WoodyandLol Fri 15-Nov-13 19:33:33


OvaryAction Fri 15-Nov-13 20:14:58

An open dialogue with practicing communities is key to stopping FGM.

In Africa the successful anti FGM programs are the ones which have encouraged communities to discuss FGM openly, introduced important facts and allowed people to come to their own conclusions. As shown in the documentary I linked in the OP, members of practicing communities are often uncertain of what really goes on, or of the long term effects.

Enforced checking would not help, it would only postpone FGM til the girls were old enough not to be checked anymore.

Branleuse Fri 15-Nov-13 20:28:56

im not proposing holding girls down to expose their genitals. There must be more sensitive ways of checking, but I think the risk to these girls from their own relatives is much more of an issue than whether it is unpalatable to check. My lovely SIL hates that it was done to her. Thankfully She was adamant it wouldn't happen to my niece, but I am not so sure other members of her family are as progressive. There can be massive family pressure, and if theres no chance of anyone finding out, then theres less incentive

BeaTrootfull Fri 15-Nov-13 20:30:37


oldmacdonaldscow Fri 15-Nov-13 20:39:30

Signed, and hopefully bumped as well.

poii10 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:41:34

This practice is totally abhorrent and needs every effort to wipe it out in this supposed civilised country, I saw the t v program last week how any body could sexually assult pre teen girls in this way is abhorrent.

Littleen Fri 15-Nov-13 20:44:39


christine44 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:49:15


Littlegiraffe Fri 15-Nov-13 20:50:24


ElizabethJonesMartin Fri 15-Nov-13 20:59:52

If some cultures have trouble with nudity then they need therapy and should change. Most little girls in English culture have no problems being naked. It is only old fashioned religions and warped religious practices which might make a girl unhappy at being examined by a doctor or nurse. It is not a problem for most white girls and plenty of parents would be happy for their child to have an annual medical check including weight to help us with fat children never mind checking general signs of both FGM and other abuse. So bring it on. We are prepared that our daughters have these checks at school even if 93% of the children are not in groups that might be at risk.

As for the case in the standard until they know if the baby had its passport before the operation they cannot proceed as it was done abroad and both parents are not British citizens so it will come down to whether she was cut before or after she got her passport - not therefore the best test case with which to start.

Education is the key, getting all those Somali and Egyptian women in the UK and their men to shout loudly against the practice so that no one ever does it again to any British girl. Make it very clear it is appalling child abuse and we do not stand for it on the planet.

AnneofGreenFables Fri 15-Nov-13 21:21:52


TreaterAnita Fri 15-Nov-13 22:44:49

Signed, though somewhat bizarrely my browser says that the (government) web page has an outdated security certificate and I had to click against an advice message to do so.

I agree that an open dialogue and education are vital, but I'm not sure that checks don't also have a place. Yes, there is a risk that FGM will simply be deferred, but then those children will be better able to verbalise their fears to trusted adults, and a good education programme will support that. It is my understanding that there has never been a successful prosecution for FGM in this country, despite the fact that it has been a crime for over 30 years. Clearly this is an established cultural practice among a number of ethnic groups, and deterrance (as a result of conviction) has to play a part hand in hand with education.

BasilBabyEater Fri 15-Nov-13 23:02:07


Caitlin17 Sat 16-Nov-13 00:13:46

Female genital mutilation 'rising' www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24915967

I would have no problem with the French system. As far as I know it's applied to all so the idea of white Europeans being excluded isn't correct. I'd sooner that than the dubious distinction of living in a country which is seen as a soft touch.

PosyNarker Sat 16-Nov-13 00:14:39


I would like to see a day where mutilating any child for religious reasons is abhorrent, regardless of gender and no matter how 'minor' the degree.

FGM is a critical issue however and we absolutely must ensure it's not accepted here. It's a tragic thing (and a sign of how far from equality these women are) that women perpetuate this when it is women that it hurts.

MummyPigsFatTummy Sat 16-Nov-13 00:25:40

This idea of checks came up on a thread a while ago and I was surprised how vehemently people are opposed. So long as it was done annually with a parent present to all girls what is the problem? To be honest given how pathetic people can be about smear tests I think it might also be beneficial to get women of all cultures used to being examined down below from an early age.

Signed btw. That programme was brilliant and appalling in equal measure. I hate that the women who made it are getting abuse now. We live in a terrible world.

justwondering72 Sat 16-Nov-13 05:31:00


Flumpf Sat 16-Nov-13 07:08:00

Signed. I don't agree with male genital mutilation either.

LilyLilyLilyOiOiOi Sat 16-Nov-13 07:14:36


gooblediguk Sat 16-Nov-13 07:40:50



Agree with a lot of what has already been said....what would happen if a white person did this to their child? Would they not be arrested, do little girls with a foreign heritage not deserve the same care as a little white girl?

I agree that male circumcision needs to be stopped too. Granted, it may not be as 'intrusive', nor have such debilitating effects later on in life as female genital mutilation, but you are still mutilating a child. If I decided to begin lopping off the the tip of my child's ear because my religion said it should be done, I imagine I would be arrested very quickly.

OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 09:20:35


PicnicPie Sat 16-Nov-13 09:56:18


Auroborea Sat 16-Nov-13 09:58:55


OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 11:20:26

I'm surprised and a bit frustrated by the lack of attention this post seems to be getting.

ErrorError Sat 16-Nov-13 12:41:03

I watched the documentary and then signed. Horrific. Those poor girls. sad

IsabellaPasta Sat 16-Nov-13 12:47:00



lmhrmh Sat 16-Nov-13 12:57:23


Caitlin17 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:19:35

MummyPigsFatTummy yes. Excellent point. I know several women who are very uncomfortable about this.

GlitteredPinecones Sat 16-Nov-13 13:37:13


LondonMother Sat 16-Nov-13 13:52:51


DramaAlpaca Sat 16-Nov-13 14:29:49


DickCrack Sat 16-Nov-13 14:53:46

Signed. I found the recent tv programme very distressing.

mousmous Sat 16-Nov-13 14:56:12

how many signatures are needed?

tbh I don't see the issue with examining dc. it's done in many countries as part of a 'school-readiness' examination, which looks at hight, weight, general healthyness and if the child has reached certain skills and to refer to specialists (speech therapy for example).
yes, dc get naked for a short bit, but there is no holding down, just a quick observing look.

OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 15:53:48

mous 100,000 so it's getting there.

My issue isn't with holding anyone down as I don't think that would be done, by 'enforced' I meant mandatory, rather than violent. I think that examining children's genitals because you believe they may be at risk of FGM (and such programmes would not be rolled out to check the genitals of children from non practicing groups as it would be seen by the government as a waste of money) would make the parents feel they were mistrusted and being accused because of their ethnicity, which would make education programs and open dialogues with practicing communities near impossible.

handcream Sat 16-Nov-13 16:20:46

I really dont care whether I am seen as racist or not understanding their 'culture.' it is a horrible horrible practise that needs to be stamped out now.

Please, lets ALL stand up and uncover the people who are doing this. The mothers should hang their heads in shame and what they are allowing to happen.

OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 16:26:18

this video is of a family discussing why the mother put her daughters through FGM, and the pressure she was under to do so.

The people who do this are not monsters, they really are doing what they think is best for their children. We need to TALK about FGM and educate practicing communities on the myths and risks of FGM, enabling them to be able to refuse to cut their daughters without fearing that they will be ostracized and bullied, perhaps even attacked for doing so.

elfycat Sat 16-Nov-13 16:35:28

Signed and shared.

DH will be encouraged to sign when he gets home.

handcream Sat 16-Nov-13 16:43:50

Its another female issue tbh. Men want women to have no sexual pleasure, only pain and of course be under their control.

We need to start by making it illegal in this country with any persons found guilty going to jail. We need to go out into the communities and not fear being called racist.

mousmous Sat 16-Nov-13 16:45:06

problem is, it is already illegal.
just not enough is done yet to prevent it happening.

baggyoldcow Sat 16-Nov-13 16:52:24

I'm totally against FGM but I do wonder why circumcision of boys is considered totally ok? Surely it is just as - or nearly as - bad? But for e.g. in the US and Australia it is the norm for all newborn boys. I asked my husband if he would mind walking around with his foreskin pushed back for a day and he said it would kill him, his penis is so sensitive. So you have to wonder what you are depriving these boys of. They were made with foreskins, why should adults make the choice whether or not they should keep them?
Sorry, not trying to diminish the arguments about female circumcision, just surprised no-one seems to care about the boys as well.

OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 17:10:28

I do care about boys and think medically unnecessary Male Genital Mutilation should be illegal too. I think it's wrong to chop anything off, or otherwise permanently change, the body of a child without sound medical reasoning.

There are people fighting to end MGM, I think there were a few debates going on in America over whether it should be banned a couple of years ago but they seem to have died down.

I am hopeful that a ban on MGM will follow the abandonment of FGM, there is a greater resistance on grounds of cultural rights to MGM though, look through the threads on it on here, Jewish advocates of the practice are very firm in believing they have the right to mutilate their children's genitals. Hopefully successful abandonment of FGM will pave the way for the abandonment of MGM.

Signed. Totally horrific practice.

I would agree that opening the subject for discussion in the relevant communities has to happen.

Sallyingforth Sat 16-Nov-13 17:20:26

And I agree that FGM = MGM = wrong.

thebody Sat 16-Nov-13 17:20:53

signed. any mutulation of a child of whatever sex, creed or religion is just vile evil and wrong.

baggyoldcow Sat 16-Nov-13 17:58:58

Yes, unfortunately once something has become a religious 'norm', it's incredibly difficult to persuade people to stop it. Such a shame.

Pixel Sat 16-Nov-13 18:37:47

Its another female issue tbh. Men want women to have no sexual pleasure, only pain and of course be under their control

Not always. I saw a documentary a few months ago. The father didn't want his girls cut but the mother insisted. He then asked the cutter to only take a small part. She and the mother held the two girls down and did the full FGM, and I'll never forget the fact that the mother laughed as she held her screaming daughter down. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the mothers are all victims who have no choice about doing this to their daughters.

Tbh I really don't care if they feel victimised because of their ethnicity or made to feel like 'monsters'. They should be under no illusions that the reason FGM is against the law in this country is because we find it abhorrent. If they could be trusted to obey the law then there would be no talk of checking girls for FGM. No more pussyfooting around, for the sake of all those poor little girls.

cacm Sat 16-Nov-13 18:59:26


OvaryAction Sat 16-Nov-13 21:03:22

bumping again, we still need another 18,000 signatures!!!

PeanutPatty Sat 16-Nov-13 21:03:39


I watched the documentary. Horrific practice. Absolutely barbaric. Those girls/women mentally and physically scarred for life just because their community deems it necessary.

bubblesmonkey Sat 16-Nov-13 21:04:36

signed and shared

ProcessYellowC Sat 16-Nov-13 21:06:38

Just tried to sign it, found I already had though...

daisychain01 Sat 16-Nov-13 21:42:14


Thankyou for raising awareness. I have know about it for a long time and pleased to be able to help to eradicate as a barbaric practice.


notanyanymore Sat 16-Nov-13 21:49:51


Bloodybridget Sat 16-Nov-13 22:25:47


SwimmingMom Sat 16-Nov-13 22:38:55



OvaryAction Sun 17-Nov-13 09:22:38


gorionine Sun 17-Nov-13 10:30:52

Signed and shared

GoofyIsACow Sun 17-Nov-13 10:47:25

Signed, utterly hideous, i agree, checking should be compulsary, i think the combination of culture (specifically the fear of being seen as racist) and the fact it is genitals so not just checking under their arm for instance, makes it a terribly sensitive subject. Lets face it, it's all very british stiff upper lip, we cant possibly ask to look at that little girls vagina, however something definitely needs to change, this is without doubt, one of the most upsetting things i have ever read about.

auntierozzi Sun 17-Nov-13 11:07:27


brokenhearted55a Sun 17-Nov-13 11:09:35

But I for one am more concerned about male genital mutilation (when not medically necessary) as it is still an acceptable practice.

Look at this video....start from about 2:45 mins on the time index. I've never heard a baby scream like that.


GoofyIsACow Sun 17-Nov-13 11:21:24

You are 'more' concerned about MGM broken!? confused

brokenhearted55a Sun 17-Nov-13 11:23:27

Just as concerned would be a better way to put it because its accepted.

It also removes the most sensitive part of a babys penis and can affect sex life and pleasure in later years.

Although I am completely against MGM, i do think that FGM can be more damaging, both physically and mentally.

I read one story where a girl had horrific lower abdomen pains - turns out that the opening to her vagina had been sewn completely shut. She had started menstruating, but the blood had no where to go so it had just collected inside her. Awful.

I've yet to hear such horrific stories from victims of MGM. Don't think that I am doubting the pain of MGM...I am not. I am saying that FGM often has far more pain associated with it. Also, it is done to prevent a woman straying from her husband. A boy is not circumcised to stop him cheating, it does not make him an object.

Then of course, there is the argument of age. Male circumcisions are normally done just after birth. Yes of course it does hurt, but I'm pretty sure that most people will agree that being age eight and held down by your own mother/aunty/older sister etc while a woman slices your vagina while you scream and imagine you are dying is a lot more traumatic.

mousmous Sun 17-Nov-13 15:42:33

another inspiring read for those of you who want to read more is desert flower by waris dirie
it also explains a bit how other (european) countries deal with this issue (she is in austria).

flashnazia Sun 17-Nov-13 16:04:12

FGM is not an islamic practice, it's cultural. Its misogynistic. It's disgusting.

People who allow this to be done to their daughters do not deserve to be parents.

MoJangled Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:16

Signed. Can hardly bear to think about it.

PinkyHasNoEars Sun 17-Nov-13 18:56:56



Milkhell Sun 17-Nov-13 19:37:53


EldritchCleavage Sun 17-Nov-13 20:18:58

You see this is what happens as soon as we suggest actually taking some action against this. Accusations of racism

Oh for heaven's sake, my post was not an accusation of racism of any kind. How very dim.

terrierist Sun 17-Nov-13 21:05:52

Signed and shared. Thanks for drawing attention.

Milkhell Sun 17-Nov-13 21:08:47

There's a point. You can share this petition via FB, Twitter etc.

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 21:51:31

What should be done?

Very very clear education policy on the definition of abuse. Everyone, children and parents need to know quite clearly that if you do this to your child, or allow it to be done to your child, you will lose your children into care. It is one of the most serious types of abuse - cutting out a part of someone's body. It needs to be taken away from the context of religion and culture and seen for what it actually is.

And children should be taught more about the definition of abuse, they are the only ones that see exactly what goes on behind closed doors. Older children in particular could be very helpful in exposing these things but need support and education.

GetYourSocksOff Sun 17-Nov-13 22:15:58


SueDunin Sun 17-Nov-13 23:00:18

signed and shared

MadAsFish Sun 17-Nov-13 23:05:57

I'm totally against FGM but I do wonder why circumcision of boys is considered totally ok? Surely it is just as - or nearly as - bad? But for e.g. in the US and Australia it is the norm for all newborn boys.

Horse. Shit.
On both counts. How can you possibly equate the removal of the foreskin, which reduces some sensitivity with the removal of the clitoris, and the infibulation of the entire genital area? (done in the most extreme form)? Do you actually know what FGM entails? There is no pleasure in sex for a woman who's been mutilated, the rates of death and disability from either the procedure or issue later on is horrendous, and normal function (menstruation, intercourse, childbirth) is severely affected. They are just not even close to the same thing.
And I have two generations of Australian males in this house, neither of whom have been circumcised, and this is far from uncommon.
Perhaps in the US, yes, but not Australia.

MadAsFish Sun 17-Nov-13 23:07:42

And unfortunately I can't sign, as I'm neither citizen or resident.

BadMissM Sun 17-Nov-13 23:51:33

Signed and shared

baggyoldcow Mon 18-Nov-13 05:00:07

Madasafish, ok it's no longer the norm in Oz but it was until the 1970s. And even if it is not as bad as FGM, I still don't understand why it should be considered 'ok' anywhere to mutilate a child for no medically justifiable reason. I am not trying to diminish the importance of campaigning against FGM. I just think people generally should think about male circumcision in a more negative light as well instead of accepting it as normal because it has certain religious groups (and the USA) behind it.

SleepPleaseSleep Mon 18-Nov-13 08:53:34

Signed. Some degenerate people obviously do think 'cultural practice' excuses this. I don't. I am proud to be a citizen of the first country to outlaw the historical cultural practice of slavery, for instance. And stop Indian suttee.

ppeatfruit Mon 18-Nov-13 09:37:38

Signed It doesn't feel like enough though.

Meglet Mon 18-Nov-13 09:40:57

Just a thought, but is this discussed in schools? Or is child abuse even discussed at school? I've given my dc's (7 & 5) a few chats about abuse (in very low key, easy language) but it's not occurred to me to mention FGM. I think I will tell them when they are a little older.

Newsround should cover it in an age appropriate way.

ppeatfruit Mon 18-Nov-13 09:47:18

Meglet I went on a course as a supply teacher (it was for all teachers) about recognising abuse and it was specifically mentioned,so yes is the answer to your question.

Meglet Mon 18-Nov-13 10:19:29

ppeatfruit that's good to know. I suppose some parents put off sex education for years, so the chance of them discussing abuse or FGM are slim. It needs to be brought out into the open at a younger age IMO, without worrying children too much.

ppeatfruit Mon 18-Nov-13 10:27:22

I taught EYs so it's (hopefully) being discussed in every school, and the signs are being recognised e.g. a girl talking about going to a 'special party' in her parent's homeland. Because of course it's best to PREVENT it. But more difficult.

Branleuse Mon 18-Nov-13 10:41:29

it really really pisses me off when people compare circumcising a boys foreskin, with the removal of a girls entire clitoris, labia, and sewing the wound together leaving a tiny hole for menstruation and urination, that has to be torn open on her wedding night, and then again in childbirth.

what the fuck are you talking about???

Meerkat8 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:05:18


MadAsFish Mon 18-Nov-13 11:22:04

Thankyou, Branleuse, for being more forceful and succinct than I was.

Madasafish, ok it's no longer the norm in Oz but it was until the 1970s

No. It. Wasn't. One of the previously cited examples was born in 1970. Where are you getting your information? And have you looked up exactly what the differences are between FGM and male circumcision yet? For it to be the same, it would involve cutting off the head of the penis (aaaaaa, even typing that makes me cringe). You'd probably have some kind of functionality left, but not much, and it would hurt like hell.

Sallyingforth Mon 18-Nov-13 11:35:28

Yes Branleuse FGM is worse than MGM.
Just as murder is worse than assault.
But you can't excuse punching people by saying you didn't kill them.
So you can be 'pissed off' all you like, but BOTH are wrong, unnecessary, and should be stopped.

baggyoldcow Mon 18-Nov-13 11:39:53

Sorry, you (Branleuse / Madasafish) seem to be getting very wound up about this and I think you're missing the point. I don't think anyone posting here is seriously suggesting that male circumcision is as brutal as FGM or that the consequences are as appalling. But just because one is a lesser evil shouldn't mean it is ok. Branleuse you are surely referring to people who argue that FGM is ok because male circumcision is ok. I am saying quite the opposite.
Believe it or not, it is possible to think that both FGM and male circumcision are wrong.
Madasafish, I got the 1970s thing from a) Aussie men I know born in the 1970s who were circumcised as a matter or routine, and b) http://www.circinfo.org/ which is about circumcision and FGM in Australia - a quite informative website which states that the practice began to be disapproved in the 1970s, having been prevalent for the preceding 4 decades.

EldritchCleavage Mon 18-Nov-13 11:56:14

But this is a campaign and a petition about FGM. It is rightly focused on the particular issues (of health, culture and misogyny) that surround FGM, and how we can stop it happening.

The minute you dilute that focus to talk about (unrelated, culturally different and ^specifically religiously mandated^) male circumcision you are going to render the FGM campaign less effective.

I think it is annoying posters because FGM and male circumcision are not equivalent and are undertaken for different reasons and have very different effects. Also, it seems to many people that whenever we move to try and effect change on an issue concerning women and girls someone jumps up to say 'Oh, but what about the men, we must include them!' Why? Start a separate campaign if you feel strongly, but please don't derail this one.

baggyoldcow Mon 18-Nov-13 12:04:01

I don't see it as men v. women but as adults v. babies (of both sexes). Anyway, I certainly don't want to derail this campaign and that was not my intention in asking the question, so apologies to all those offended by it and I won't say any more!

LucyLui25 Mon 18-Nov-13 12:06:56


EldritchCleavage Mon 18-Nov-13 12:07:51

Baggy, I'm sorry if I sounded ratty, I certainly didn't mean to. As it happens I agree with you about male circumcision. But it is a very different issue that will need very different handling. For starters, it isn't already illegal as FGM is.

2OfUsHerAndHim Mon 18-Nov-13 13:13:03


SusanaD Mon 18-Nov-13 13:38:59


katemcd0704 Mon 18-Nov-13 14:12:55


mousmous Mon 18-Nov-13 19:43:19

just bumping as it's not 'discussion of the day' anymore.

OvaryAction Mon 18-Nov-13 19:53:59

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who has signed so far,we're almost at 84,000. We need 100,000 for this to be debated in parliament.


JackNoneReacher Tue 19-Nov-13 09:51:42

bumping... really need a few more people to sign and share.

elfycat Tue 19-Nov-13 13:13:58

I like the way that out of the top 15 most signatory petitions this is the only one without a response. It's the second most signed petition but no-one had dared to make a comment.

Please sign! It seems the only way to get this talked about is to hit the 100k.

Even the puppy/kitten buying petition got a comment after 10k signings I did sign that one too

another bump

OvaryAction Tue 19-Nov-13 17:59:46

Thanks for the bump elfy

Oh look at that, my post thanking you for your bump has in turn bumped the thread. What a fortunate and totally unforeseen bonus.....

uncomfortablydumb Tue 19-Nov-13 18:26:20

Signed and shared

Catmint Tue 19-Nov-13 18:32:31


CerealKillerMom Tue 19-Nov-13 18:42:27


Re. the quote from Birmingham CC. I genuinely don't understand. If you are presented with a child who has had FGM performed, then how can you not follow through with the application of the current law. What's the rational - not in the child's best interest to investigate/prosecute/jail the parent/s?

DramaAlpaca Wed 20-Nov-13 11:35:42

Bumping for more signatures

elfycat Thu 21-Nov-13 17:28:34

OvaryAction There was no need to thank me. You are most welcome and thank you for starting this thread. I worked in an operating theatre where we surgically enabled a young woman to have sex with her husband, as she couldn't thanks to the scarring caused by this.

Oh look another bump wink

I think prosecutions have to happen, or the communities that encourage FGM will keep going, as the law is toothless. It might not be in the individual child's best interest to be separated from her parents, but it would be in the interests of her younger sisters, cousins, own children laterand the rest of the community.

JackNoneReacher Thu 21-Nov-13 21:32:20

cereal I don't understand either.

What would normally happen if we came across a child that had been seriously, deliberately assaulted by her parents?

The parents would be prosecuted as a punishment and deterrent. The child would be removed - for her own protection.

But for some reason FGM is being treated differently. On the one hand is a law against it, on the other hand is an acceptance that it's happening and an attitude of "oh well if its been done, there's no point following that up now".

People on this thread have suggested the reason is because little brown girls aren't 'as important' as little white ones.

I hate to think this is true, I'd prefer to think its some sort of misguided fear of being racist. Either way, something needs to change.

uncomfortablydumb Thu 21-Nov-13 22:27:02

Little bump. Too important to get lost.

Pixel Thu 21-Nov-13 23:00:10

It's not because 'little brown girls' aren't important. It's because everyone is frightened of upsetting the 'little brown girls' parents cos they are 'ethnic' and have 'culture' (the magic words in pc land). This is the same mind-set from those in authority that killed Victoria Climbie sad.

Pixel Thu 21-Nov-13 23:01:52

I mean the mind-set is from those in authority (social services etc), not that they actually physically killed her, sorry didn't read right when I saw it again. Anyway, you know what I mean.

Just signed it. Really care about this topic but actually have been avoiding the thread all week because of the very emotive and disturbing headline. I don't need to be horrified by the fact its been done to a tiny baby - it's horrifying that its done to any woman.

And given how vital and important this issue is, and that it's been discussion of the day, how awful it is that this thread has taken a week to get to some 250 messages. So what would it take to actually energise the powerful MN community to work on this topic?

mousmous Fri 22-Nov-13 07:51:58

response from epetitions last night:


The e-petition 'Stop FGM in the UK Now' signed by you recently reached 86,113 signatures and a response has been made to it.

As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response: We regard female Genital Mutilation as child abuse and it is illegal. The Coalition Government is absolutely clear that political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of preventing, uncovering and prosecuting this terrible form of criminal activity. This Government recognises that tackling violence against women and girls, including FGM, requires a sustained, robust and dynamic cross-Government approach. Every department needs to play its part in addressing FGM. The Department of Health is working to improve the information collected by the NHS on FGM. The Home Office has recently announced it will help fund a new study into the prevalence rates of FGM in England and Wales. The Department for International Development has established an ambitious £35m programme to address FGM in Africa and beyond, with an ambition toward ending FGM in one generation. The Home Office is the lead on violence against women and girls (VAWG) and has captured FGM in our comprehensive VAWG Strategy, rather than in a stand-alone Action Plan. Recently updated, the Strategy (The Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls: Action Plan) has a renewed focus on protecting potential victims. Through the plan we are working closely across Government to help secure a FGM conviction, and with charities and frontline organisations to help improve awareness of FGM. As part of a continued effort to raise awareness, the Home Office has: Joined forces with the NSPCC and the Metropolitan Police Service to establish a dedicated FGM helpline, providing advice to anyone who is concerned about FGM: www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/resourcesforprofessionals/minorityethnic/female-genital-mutilation_wda96841.html Launched the Statement Opposing FGM, which sends out a strong message to anyone involved in this practice - it is illegal and has no place in our society. To date, we have sent out over 37,000 of these leaflets. Continued to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure the Government is doing everything it can to help secure a prosecution. We are greatly encouraged by the Director of Public Prosecution’s assessment that it is only a matter of time before a perpetrator is brought to justice and the Minister for Crime Prevention will be discussing this matter with Alison Saunders shortly. Female Genital Mutilation is a human rights abuse with devastating consequences for victims. We are determined to work together across Government to protect victims, prosecute perpetrators and stamp out this abhorrent practice for good. This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.

View the response to the e-petition


HM Government e-petitions epetitions.direct.gov.uk/

myroomisatip Fri 22-Nov-13 08:14:45

WorkingItOutAsIGo I agree. It is very disappointing that there are not more posts on this thread sad

Sallyingforth Fri 22-Nov-13 11:56:07

it is only a matter of time before a perpetrator is brought to justice

A perpetrator at some time in the future. How many girls are going to be mutilated in the meantime?

That is just not good enough!

JackNoneReacher Fri 22-Nov-13 20:27:52

shit... how much time is needed to secure a prosecution? Its been 10 years since the female genital mutilation act.

I feel the same way about the headline workingitoutasigo. Its almost too upsetting to read.

mousmous Fri 22-Nov-13 20:49:02

bumping for the evening crowd.

86,737 signatures so far, so still a way to go to reach the required 100,000.

NadiaWadia Fri 22-Nov-13 21:25:29

Signed. Yes I am surprised there are not more posts on this thread, and maybe a Mumsnet campaign? It is absolutely horrific.

Can only think people aren't clicking on it because of either:

1. the horrible subject matter, which they don't want to think about.
2. misguided political correctness, ie they might think it's a 'cultural practice' which should be left up to those particular communities to deal with. Well stuff that!

If a new religious cult sprang up where they decided it was a good idea to cut off their children's little fingers as a sign of faith, would this be equally ignored by the authorities - don't think so. Its because its kept hidden and affects girls only. But these are children being mutilated who have no choice in the matter.

I read somewhere that there have been no known cases of adult women who have somehow bypassed FGM in childhood, choosing to have in done voluntarily in adulthood. So that tells you a lot. Why is it acceptable to inflict on children?

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 22-Nov-13 21:30:16


Its squeamishness about all matter involving the dreaded vagina that's stopping any one being prosecuted for this. If folk were cutting off the ends of fingers or toes it'd be being prosecuted left, right and centre. As a country we really are shit about being able to talk about our genitals, especially the female set.
I work in sexual health and am constantly horrified by the number of adult women who won't touch their own genitals or who can't tell me if they have symptoms because they don't like looking.
There's a really strong current of mysogyny in our culture that's led to even women feeling that the vagina and all its accessory parts are tainted and dirty. This is the rock that dark deads like FMG are carried out under. We need to educate everyone, from childhood and create a much more open culture where folk feel able to talk about FMG.

I read this last week and it made me really very angry indeed:


NadiaWadia Fri 22-Nov-13 21:41:23

86,781 signatures. How many mumsnetters are there?

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 22-Nov-13 21:41:45

Cross posts with you Nadia, you're right. Its all hidden away in girls' underwear so it can be hidden and ignored.
I really don't want to live in country where people are bringing their children to be mutilated because we all turn a blind eye.
Or maybe that's not fair because if I came across a family who I suspected might be at risk of FMG I would have absolutely no idea who to talk to about it or how to get help, barring what I've learned at work. So maybe its not turning a blind eye more not knowing what to do and that's where some kind of national strategy and education campaign would come in.

mousmous Fri 22-Nov-13 21:46:12

in my dc's nursery is a little girl whose parents are from an african area where fgm is common.
I sometimes think I should broach it with the nurses, but am unsure how to do it without sounding too judgey.

NadiaWadia Fri 22-Nov-13 21:46:16

It is certainly needed, MrsWedge.
Your professional perspective is certainly interesting, and have the authorities really given you no official guidelines on this? That's terrible. The government must do more.

Mnyoucleverboyandremember Fri 22-Nov-13 21:54:35

Would it be worth re-posting the petition with a different title to get more signatures? I've signed and shared on FB but maybe the thread title needs to be more petition-specific.

I can't imagine anyone being unwilling to sign tbh.

humphryscorner Fri 22-Nov-13 21:56:26


NadiaWadia Fri 22-Nov-13 22:00:17

Mnyouclever maybe you're onto something there! But it is up to the OP to change it , I suppose. Does anyone know how many members MN has?

Mnyoucleverboyandremember Fri 22-Nov-13 22:07:08

I'm sure its something like 1. million. So we could get a few more signatures.

JustOneMoreCoffee Fri 22-Nov-13 22:21:54

Signed! Can't believe it's allowed to go on sad

MadAsFish Fri 22-Nov-13 22:35:53

Sorry, you (Branleuse / Madasafish) seem to be getting very wound up about this and I think you're missing the point.

There is no limit to how wound up I can get about this issue.
There is also simply no way a reasonable person could in any way equate circumcision with this hideous, often fatal, and life-destroying mutilation, which derives from culture, not religion (though religion has been roped in as a justification, without cause).

NadiaWadia Sat 23-Nov-13 01:16:42


OP - I thought it was great of you to start this thread with an excellent original post, and that the current title is good, and you would have thought it would be enough to get loads of signatures. But it keeps dropping off the front page, so maybe you could try Mnyouclever's suggestion? It's worth trying anything? Maybe something like 'Baby girl mutilated in the UK - Please urgently sign the petition to stop this happening?' Perhaps people just glance at it and imagine 'you can help' is a request for donations? My laptop is playing up, so I couldn't PM you this.

Babymamaroon Sat 23-Nov-13 04:06:48


OvaryAction Sat 23-Nov-13 04:22:49

Hi, I've messaged MNHQ and asked to change the title and have asked if they would consider starting a campaign.

NadiaWadia Sat 23-Nov-13 04:56:27

Brilliant, Ovary. Will you let us know if they reply re campaign?

OvaryAction Sat 23-Nov-13 08:11:06

Of course! smile

SolidGold Sat 23-Nov-13 08:26:14


MrsWedgeAntilles Sat 23-Nov-13 09:26:52

Nadia, we have training on FMG in work and I would be pretty confident about getting it passed to the right people if I came across it there but in my home life or among my friends I wouldn't know where to turn and I think that would go for the majority of people.

OvaryAction Sat 23-Nov-13 09:56:48

If you suspect a child is at risk of FGM the NSPCC has recently launched a national helpline

Number for NSPCC FGM helpline: 0800 028 3550

Dedicated email address: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

If someone is in immediate danger you should call 999

The minute you dilute that focus to talk about (unrelated, culturally different and ^specifically religiously mandated^) male circumcision you are going to render the FGM campaign less effective.

Hear! Hear! Why is this issue always being piggy-backed by the anti-circ crowd?

The Alpha Parent posted a link to the petition on her Facebook page and was jumped on by the "what about baby boys" brigade. FFS.

MrsWedgeAntilles Sat 23-Nov-13 12:58:36

Thanks for that OP. The fact that I work in a related field and didn't know that really highlights the need for better education.

NadiaWadia Sat 23-Nov-13 15:34:47



OvaryAction Sat 23-Nov-13 20:12:50

Message from MNHQ:

"Hi there,

We've amended the title and flagged this to the campaigns team.


JackNoneReacher Sat 23-Nov-13 20:39:56

That title is so much better.

cory Sat 23-Nov-13 21:39:36


Theimpossiblegirl Sat 23-Nov-13 21:42:07

Nicely done MNHQ. smile

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 23-Nov-13 21:43:13

And Ovary. blush thanks

LittleG69 Sat 23-Nov-13 22:56:14


BendyBusBuggy Sat 23-Nov-13 23:03:59


BendyBusBuggy Sat 23-Nov-13 23:21:45


Great change, well done.

OvaryAction Sun 24-Nov-13 10:59:58

Not much more interest since changing though sad

JackNoneReacher Sun 24-Nov-13 14:59:34

If anyone has read the OP but doesn't want to sign would you tell us why?

Did anyone but me think the answer to the petition so far was wispy washy in the extreme. All this focus on one prosecution. Why is that enough? Why not a focus on stopping it completely? All so half hearted and weak.

Is this not a priority? Is it too horrible to think about? Is it too sexual to think about? Are people worried about seeming to pick on particular minorities?

NadiaWadia Sun 24-Nov-13 16:17:25

OvaryAction, please don't be offended, as I know you were the one who went to the effort of starting the thread (and thank you so much for that), but I just wonder why you didn't make the thread title more petition-specific, I thought that was the reason to change it? Didn't you think that was a good idea?

Also, many people may not know what FGM actually is, never underestimate people's ignorance to them it may be just a random acronym and the thread title will therefore not grab their attention? I know I often won't click on a thread if I don't know what the OP is talking about.

Of course I may be completely wrong about this, I am no journalist, but just giving my thoughts, not criticising.

OvaryAction Mon 25-Nov-13 09:53:52

smacks forehead

I think I'm just crap at writing thread titles.

Jellybellydancer Mon 25-Nov-13 10:45:39


NadiaWadia Mon 25-Nov-13 12:10:38


mousmous Wed 27-Nov-13 07:12:08

it has reached 89,000 signatures over night 'only' 11,000 more needed.
that surely should be do-able?

NadiaWadia Wed 27-Nov-13 13:55:30

Well you would hope so mousmous. And I think there is plenty of time before the deadline (next summer isn't it?). It's just that I suppose the sooner it hits the total the better. And I thought that with the number of MNetters that there are, it could hit the target with our signatures alone quite easily. I am a bit disappointed in Mumsnet, TBH.

mousmous Wed 27-Nov-13 14:39:44

that's why I keep bumping wink

mousmous Wed 27-Nov-13 17:58:05

read something in the metro today. only the headline and upside down
about hospitals to report to police if they come across it.
couldn't find it online, though.

MrsPear Wed 27-Nov-13 18:26:55

I have signed and shared.

I had to explain to my bil what FGM is which was hard as English is not his first language confused

OvaryAction Wed 27-Nov-13 18:31:09

What is his first language pear ?

NadiaWadia Wed 27-Nov-13 20:32:18

I like your second thread, ovary. And it seems to have done the trick, moving along nicely now!

OvaryAction Wed 27-Nov-13 21:02:54

Thanks Nadia should have done something like that in the first place!

JackNoneReacher Wed 27-Nov-13 23:41:26

I'd like to see that mous - hospitals being obliged to report.

And yet, what good is this if there are still no prosecutions...? This is the thing I'd like to see discussed.

NadiaWadia Thu 28-Nov-13 00:17:08

So now the second thread seems to have disappeared. What is going on? ........ Or is it just my laptop being weird again?

NadiaWadia Thu 28-Nov-13 00:22:53

I have checked down as far as page 4, and the last posts on there were yesterday. I know the OP's new thread entitled something like 'to be disappointed with you lot' had plenty of posts today, so where has it gone? Unless someone moved it to a different sub-forum?

OvaryAction Thu 28-Nov-13 09:21:06

They've moved it to campaigns and petitions, someone must have reported it or something because I didn't ask them to.

Nobody's going to see it now! Back to square one!!

NadiaWadia Thu 28-Nov-13 19:21:37

That's ridiculous! I didn't even know there was a 'campaigns and petitions' section, and I bet a lot of other people don't. Why can it not be on AIBU, which (I think) gets the most traffic?

It's almost like MumsnetHQ actively don't want to help. Could you message them, ovary?

OvaryAction Thu 28-Nov-13 19:44:41

I think it must be policy to move any threads with a petition there as I commented on another petition thread and that ended up there too.

OvaryAction Thu 28-Nov-13 19:45:20

Although this one is still in AIBU.

Maybe because it's accompanied by a news story?

mousmous Thu 28-Nov-13 19:55:58

at least it's moving along, with 91,000 signatures. let's keep it active.

It's back in AIBU! Hurrah!

NadiaWadia Thu 28-Nov-13 21:20:50

Well no it's not, wombles ??

Sadly, MNHQ obviously don't care much about the issue. Or at least, that's the impression they are giving.

I can't really understand it.

mousmous Fri 29-Nov-13 14:15:38

keeping it bumped

OvaryAction Fri 29-Nov-13 19:57:33



projectbabyweight Fri 29-Nov-13 21:35:27

Signed. Thanks for posting this OP.

mousmous Fri 29-Nov-13 22:47:25

less than 400 to go.
well done ovary

OvaryAction Sat 30-Nov-13 00:06:29

I think it's a few more than that mous! but thank you smile

mousmous Sat 30-Nov-13 00:07:41

me and maths.

JackNoneReacher Sat 30-Nov-13 09:33:06

9400 to go! But if everyone shared this it would be done in a day.

OvaryAction Sat 30-Nov-13 14:34:43

Think my friends are getting sick of me sharing it!

OvaryAction Sat 30-Nov-13 20:41:27


Just shared on FB. Having to force it not to include picture of shaving woman or pictures of fat and thin bellies from blog of the day hmm.

NadiaWadia Sun 01-Dec-13 17:13:05


LittlePeaPod Sun 01-Dec-13 17:20:16

Already signed and posted on FB and twitter... Bumping!

Come on ladies sign the petition, so many girls and so much pain!

idontgivearatsass Sun 01-Dec-13 17:32:29


NadiaWadia Sun 01-Dec-13 19:51:50

Bumpety bump

barnet Sun 01-Dec-13 19:54:11


mousmous Sun 01-Dec-13 20:06:27


in the hope that I can shout rightly only a few signatures more to go

JackNoneReacher Sun 01-Dec-13 23:46:22


for anyone who hasn't yet signed this petition which could be the first step in stopping people cutting bits off little girls.

OvaryAction Mon 02-Dec-13 09:03:53

good morning all! bump

whyayepetal Mon 02-Dec-13 09:33:42


Lancashiregirl Mon 02-Dec-13 11:45:37


LittlePeaPod Mon 02-Dec-13 15:08:40

Already signed and bump....

DramaAlpaca Mon 02-Dec-13 19:13:22

Another little bump for the evening crowd

OvaryAction Mon 02-Dec-13 22:15:19


NadiaWadia Tue 03-Dec-13 14:06:20


NewName123 Tue 03-Dec-13 14:09:32


OvaryAction Tue 03-Dec-13 18:36:52


mousmous Tue 03-Dec-13 19:54:44


OldDaddy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:28:03

Because if they try to prosecute people will pull out the whole "it's cultural" issue and people back off.


JackNoneReacher Wed 04-Dec-13 11:42:52

'back off' is it possible for the authorities to back off any further?

AngelaDaviesHair Wed 04-Dec-13 12:08:15

I wouldn't have thought so.

Treasures Wed 04-Dec-13 14:04:32


mousmous Wed 04-Dec-13 18:58:53


NadiaWadia Thu 05-Dec-13 11:39:06

Bump. Anyone who hasn't signed - it only takes a minute, so pleeease.

NadiaWadia Thu 05-Dec-13 18:41:57

and bump again


Tuhlulah Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:29

How do I sign this? What do I do?

mousmous Fri 06-Dec-13 10:17:21

go to the e-petitin website
click on 'sign this petition' and then the steps will be explained.

OvaryAction Fri 06-Dec-13 10:55:42

The number of signatures is slowly creeping up, I'm really appalled at how long it's taking though. Do the general public not give a shit that around the world a little girl is being held down and mutilated every ten seconds?

Signing this petition and getting parliament to debate this is the first step to making sure that, at least in the UK, girls are protected from having to undergo this harmful practice.

LambinsideaDuckinsideaTrout Fri 06-Dec-13 12:02:59


Tuhlulah Fri 06-Dec-13 14:57:18

Thank you. Am waiting for my e-mail confirmation.

Tuhlulah Fri 06-Dec-13 16:22:39


eewop Sat 07-Dec-13 07:54:40

Morning Bump

LambinsideaDuckinsideaTrout Sat 07-Dec-13 14:43:26

Afternoon bump

mousmous Sat 07-Dec-13 16:53:25


mousmous Sun 08-Dec-13 16:32:34

another bump

OvaryAction Tue 10-Dec-13 15:52:28


caruthers Tue 10-Dec-13 16:27:45

It disgusts me that FGM is not prosecuted aggresively in this country.
Culturally based abuse shouldn't be allowed to continue and we need to start jailing the people responsible for the continuation of this horrible practice.

mousmous Wed 11-Dec-13 21:18:20

please sign if you haven't done so yet!

NadiaWadia Thu 12-Dec-13 11:35:39


NadiaWadia Sat 14-Dec-13 16:34:56


FortyDoorsToNowhere Sat 14-Dec-13 17:50:43

sign and shared

LittlePeaPod Sat 14-Dec-13 19:10:27

Already signed but bumping...

mousmous Tue 17-Dec-13 18:04:22

94000 signatures
'only' 6000 to go!

Signed and bumped

mousmous Fri 20-Dec-13 16:30:36

I was hoping that the target could be reached by christmas.
doesn't really look like it now sad

mousmous Sat 11-Jan-14 12:12:33
mousmous Fri 17-Jan-14 10:35:41

97,607 signatures so far.

Norem Sun 26-Jan-14 20:22:09

Petition now stands at 100444!!!
Well done everyone.
I am a health worker and will refer any child I meet that is at risk of fgm to social services.

JackNoneReacher Thu 06-Feb-14 10:51:25
ShowMeTheCocoa Wed 19-Mar-14 09:52:03

Please, please give to this campaign. An African man is making a documentary to try and change people's attitudes in East Africa and he only has 5 days left of fundraising.http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chasing-the-cut-a-film-to-stop-female-genital-mutilation

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