Working with Women Affected by Female Genital Mutilation and their Role in Speaking About and Against Female Genital Mutilation

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


It is estimated that over 500,000 women and girls are living with FGM in Europe, this includes 137, 000 girls and women in the UK (Macfarlane & Dorkenoo 2015). Based in WomenCentre, Kirklees and funded by the ROSA for fund for girls and women, the Women Speak Out was a one year project and participatory-action research with women from communities affected by FGM. ROSA fund for girls and women. Women created digital stories about FGM experiences and practices using spoken word, images and music. An important storytelling process, digital storytelling can help us reclaim women’s rights and roles in speaking out about and against FGM. In telling and listening to stories that can teach and inform us all about FGM, this session highlights the importance and the need for community-based organisations in tackling FGM and the importance of ‘community-led’ change within efforts to end FGM. This includes listening to the voices of women and girls who oppose the practice, and to others who can support them in doing so, as well as valuing the informal and community networks and spaces where much of the effective and in-depth conversations on FGM can occur. With many organisations and professionals seeking to work with FGM affected communities in non-stigmatising ways, forms of community engagement are important. Many communities may have a mistrust of statutory professionals (especially of safeguarding/child protection) and create additional barriers for engagement. Community engagement can support with overcoming these barriers and facilitate working between statutory services and different communities.This project is underpinned by the ‘best practice’ principles from the learning of the Tackling FGM Initiative (TFGMI), which aims to strengthen community-based prevention of FGM among affected communities in the UK and which WomenCentre was a part. The principles are: a ‘human rights approach’, ‘Do no harm’, ‘Women and girls at the centre of the project’ and ‘Involve wider stakeholders.
Period18 May 2017
Event titleIntroduction to Female Genital Mutilation/Forced Marriage/Honour Based Abuse: Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board
Event typeCourse
LocationCalderdale, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionRegional