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Live webchat about FGM and violence against women with Lynne Featherstone, MP, minister at the Department for International Development, Thursday 20 June, 1pm-2pm.

(110 Posts)
MylinhMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Jun-13 14:46:27


We'll be welcoming Lib Dem MP and International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone this Thursday from 1pm - 2pm for a LIVE webchat.

As Minister Lynne leads on the government's Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy; the UK's international development programme in Africa; and on issues such as malaria, water and sanitation, polio and HIV. She is especially interested in your questions around the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision. Lynne spearheaded a government announcement earlier this year on a five-year programme to help end FGM within a generation.

FGM is illegal in the UK, but it is estimated that up to 20,000 girls in the UK are at risk of suffering genital mutilation, and that more than 60,000 women have already been cut. With UK schools' summer holidays fast-approaching, the risk to thousands of girls living in the UK is at its highest, as many girls return to visit their extended families in Africa, where over 95% of all FGM takes place.

Join us this Thursday to find out more about UK's work to end FGM in Africa and beyond, and - if interested - listen in advance to a podcast of three activists working to end FGM within Africa and the UK. You can also find out more on FGM - what it is, its risks and practices - here.

The Minister will be interested in hearing your thoughts and questions on this, and more of course. Please do join us on the day or, as ever, post your question in advance below.


LineRunner Thu 20-Jun-13 14:48:31

I would hope that MN might be able to persuade the Treasury (which is not within the remit of Lynne Featherstone, unfortunately) to continue to recognise this work, and fund it long-term; and/or to divert development aid from arms into the protection of girls and the care of women who face or are victims/survivors of FGM.

I was also struck by Lynne F's reference to women's groups in Africa initiating this campaign. Would someone from one of the African women's groups come on MN? That would be really helpful.

scallopsrgreat Thu 20-Jun-13 16:53:19

Thnk you very much Lynne for your time. That was excellent.

MmeLindor Thu 20-Jun-13 18:24:50

Very sorry I missed this webchat, as it was really very interesting. I very much hope that MNHQ will get involved in some way.

LineRunner Thu 20-Jun-13 18:27:41

It was very good, MmeLindor, wasn't it? I was lucky to be at home today for a change ['working'], to see it live.

MmeLindor Thu 20-Jun-13 18:39:22

I had a meeting, or I would have taken part.

I met a young girl last year who told me that in her community, it was seen as normal to be cut. She wasn't cut as her parents forbade it, and they had to send her away to her grandparents, to ensure that she didn't sneak out and have it done.

She is very grateful now, but at the time she was angry with her parents.

There is a great project to give girls an alternative right of passage - will look for the link (don't think it was mentioned here)

LineRunner Thu 20-Jun-13 18:53:57

The Law Pages website indicates that there has been a whole decade of not having a single prosecution.

And look at those possible maximum sentences.

Female genital mutilation Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 s.1 14 years
Assisting a girl to mutilate her own genitalia Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 s.2 14 years
Assisting a non-UK person to mutilate overseas a girl's genitalia Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 s.3 14 years

I am glad Lynne Featherstone is getting this further up the agenda, in an intelligent way.

JacqueslePeacock Thu 20-Jun-13 20:48:35

Really fascinating and important web chat. I'm sad I missed it. Let's have more like this.

LineRunner Thu 20-Jun-13 21:27:20

Jacques Yes I hope so, too.

YoniMatopoeia Fri 21-Jun-13 11:42:48

I WOULD like to thank Lynne for one of the best and most informative.web chats I have ever seen on here.

Well done

StealthPolarBear Sat 22-Jun-13 20:32:53

Brilliant web chat by a minister who really seemed to know her stuff and feel passionately about the issue.
How annoying that I had to work when this was on.
I have already heard a bit about the work being done to support ending this practice but am going to find out more.
Thank you! More like this please.

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