A ZERO tolerance pledge by Manchester City Council will work on protecting girls and women from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The Greater Manchester FGM forum and local authorities have come together to focus on ridding communities of the harsh practice, which can lead to physical and mental trauma later in life.
Jaria Hussain- lala, Chair of Greater Manchester FGM forum said ”FGM is a deeply harmful cultural practice that can cause immense damage to the wellbeing of women and girls. I am very proud that we are to become the UK’s first city region to have zero tolerance for FGM”.
The World Health Organisation estimated statistics of over 200 million girls and women alive today who have undergone genital mutilation where the practices still take place.
Current statistics show the highest rates of FGM are prevalent in the East, with areas such as Guinea and Somalia with rates of 96% and 98% respectively, whilst areas such as Nigeria and Iran are the lowest with 27% and 8%.
To build on this, an estimated 3 million girls are currently at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation treatment every year. The majority of these girls are cut before they turn 15 years old.
Operation Limelight, which is one of Greater Manchester’s most high-profile efforts to take on FGM – takes place every summer at Manchester Airport and sees Greater Manchester Police, Border Force, the airport, partners and charities speak to holiday makers and warn them of the dangers of FGM and also assist any victims of it.
With growing migration numbers, the percentage of girls and women in Europe, North America and Australia who may be subjected to FGM has risen – alongside the threat of the same occurring to the people in the west also.
Also available for comment on the matter of FGM was Tony Lloyd, the current Mayor of Manchester who said “Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and I am proud that we have been able to make this historic declaration on behalf of Greater Manchester.
Survivors/victims and professionals across Greater Manchester can contact the Guardian Project to find support and advice about FGM on 07449651677 or email them at email@example.com