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The FGM Initiative:Summary of PEER Research Endline Phase 1

29 May 2013
  • Social Change
  • FGM

A new report published by the FGM Special Initiative shows the campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is gaining support amongst affected communities. In areas where the Initiative has been operating, the research indicates a significant shift against the practice, particularly amongst younger women. The Initiative, funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Trust for London and Rosa, UK Fund for Women and Girls, unites 14 community-based organisations tackling FGM across the UK.

The Initiative worked with Options UK to publish a qualitative study of members of communities affected by FGM. The study shows change in attitudes in these communities between 2010 and 2013, based on interviews conducted by community-based interviewers from community organisations across the UK.

The report shows strong attitude shifts in affected communities operating Initiative projects:

• Opposition to FGM had increased
• The belief that FGM is a religious issue can be overcome.
• Young men don’t perceive FGM as a requirement for marriage
• Support for FGM is stronger among older people and women who link it to their cultural identity and perception of womanhood.
• There is greater awareness of the law against FGM
• London is the area with the greatest degree of cultural sensitivity. 

On the basis of the report, members of the Initiative are calling for the Government and frontline health and police professionals to do the following:

• Government must act: failure to prosecute is seen as neglect and failure at protecting women and girls at risk of FGM.
• Any messages around FGM need to be conveyed with sensitivity to cultural issues if they are to have any kind of impact