Even though I’m obviously not a girl, I believe this is a topic that any right minded person should support. As a father to a girl, I find the whole concept of female genital mutilation (sometimes euphemistically called female circumcision- I was circumcised as a youth for medical reasons and the phrase is utterly not relevant in this situation, in fact it’s use makes my blood boil) utterly reprehensible. So when Plan UK asked me to help publicise their campaign, I obviously agreed. The thought that someone could decide that this is the right thing to do to little girls like my daughter is outrageous in today’s society and it needs to be stopped.
A major new push as part of the world’s biggest girls’ rights campaign is set to tackle Female Genital Mutilation. Children’s charity Plan UK is calling for the practice to be eradicated as part of its flagship Because I am a Girl work.
The charity vowed to act as research reveals 125 million girls and women the world over are living with the consequences of being cut. Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign has reached 58 million girls worldwide to date, including work to eradicate FGM and child marriage.
If you’re of a strong disposition and want to read more about FGM, there is an excellent article, inspired by a documentary, on the Independent website you can read. You can also read more about Plan UKs thoughts on the subject in an editorial they wrote for the Guardian here.
Though illegal in the UK and many other countries, a number of complex cultural and social reasons mean FGM is still practised, such as a belief it protects chastity. Plan’s projects in Africa and Asia have shown that having knowledge of the harmful impact of FGM, as well as understanding how it is linked to discrimination against women and girls, can help end it.
If you want to find out more about Plan UKs involvement, you can read about it here.