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Female genital mutilation: the UK must act now
This month, I spent a week at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The session was on violence against women and girls. About 6,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government delegations from around the world were represented at CSW. Nearly 100 NGOs were from the UK.
Debates ranged from child marriage to girls' access to primary school education, issues where the UK seems quite progressive. But there are others where we stand alongside countries seeking a solution to a problem; female genital mutilation (FGM) is one such challenge.
Three million girls are thought to be at risk in Africa, but the UK is not immune to this form of gender-based violence. No one knows the exact figures, but it is estimated that in the UK, 20,000 girls are at risk and 66,000 women are thought to be living with the consequences of FGM.
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