Croydon taking a stand against Female Genital Mutilation
27/05/2014 23:37:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
Yesterday I learnt that Croydon College will be leading the borough's charge against Female Genitial Mutilation (FGM) by hosting a conference that aims to promote discussion on the issue, ultimately hoping to culminate in an FGM charter for Croydon.
FGM involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other non-medical injury to the female genital organs. It’s generally carried out as a cultural or religious practice, but is rightly recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
A recent report by the Croydon Advertiser highlighted the good work of Lucy Njomo and the local African Youth Development Association, revealing the sad statistic that more than 140 women have sought treatment for FGM in Croydon over the past three years. Sadly, these are just the cases that have been brave enough to come forward, there could be many more.
That's why this campaign from Croydon College is so important - by educating residents, I hope more people from affected communities will be able to detect the tell tale signs and direct victims to the various support networks in place.
In the UK as a whole, there are around 24,000 young girls at risk of FGM and over 80,000 women living with the consequences of it, according to the World Health Organisation. I'm proud that the Conservative-led government has taken practical steps to help eradicate this vile practice - by making it mandatory for all NHS hospitals to record data centrally on patients who have undergone FGM, nationally we can target resource to help eradicate this unjustifiable harm of our women and children. More information about what the Government is doing can be found on their website.
We must never be complacent, which is why former Croydon student Christina Ramsey is working closely with Di Layzelle, the College's Head of Student Life, to run our local conference and the larger campaign about FGM. Their impressive work should be applauded and supported by as many people as possible. Needless to say, they have my full support and hopefully they have yours too.
The conference is taking place on 4th June at the College. Should you wish to find out more and how you can do your bit to help, please do get in touch with Di by emailing LAYZED@croydon.ac.uk.