A new series of self-authored short films by Londoners affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) are to be promoted by the Mayor as part of his grassroots ‘FGM Stops Here’ community outreach campaign to end this illegal and barbaric practice.
The new ‘FGM Stops Here’ videos by FGM survivors, family members, medical professionals and campaigners from across the capital’s diverse communities, highlights the determination of Londoners to end the practice and demonstrate the devastating impact FGM has on the lives and wellbeing of survivors and their families. The Mayor is amplifying their voices to help change attitudes towards the harmful and illegal practice.
The films premiered online ahead of International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on Monday 6 February. FGM violates the rights of women and girls and can have lasting consequences for their physical and mental health. Research shows that while there has only ever been one prosecution for FGM in London, it is an issue that affects women and girls across the capital with more than 2,000 patients being treated after undergoing the practice between April 2021 and March 2022.
The Mayor’s work to support the ‘FGM Stops Here’ movement has been led by the Mayor’s advisory board of FGM experts including survivors, frontline professionals and activists. They have worked together to share the personal stories of Londoners on why they are looking to stop the practice, through films, posters and leaflets. These materials are being distributed to over 50 community centres, places of worship, colleges, clinics and hospitals in communities across the 11 London boroughs where FGM is most prevalent.
In her video, Soraya Ali, who is a trustee and co-founder of The Vavengers charity, said,“I was actually the first women in my family not to undergo FGM and now I campaign to support other survivors because I believe other survivors shouldn’t be alone in having to stop FGM. It should be all of our responsibilities to protect women’s health and wellbeing.”
Ameen Ali’s wife is a survivor of FGM, but it has meant she isn’t able to have children. He said, “Having been married to a woman for 17 years who has undergone FGM and further surgeries to then be told that we cannot have children, cannot be told in 20 seconds. Men, let’s end FGM.”