Does FGM really happen in the UK?

Yes. It’s happening to girls all over the world. In the UK it’s estimated there are 137,000 women and girls affected by FGM, and a further 65,000 at risk.

I am a volunteer with Youth For Change, a movement of young people working together to end gender-based violence in their communities and countries.

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Some of the UK Youth for Change team members

What are you doing about it?

In the UK, our Train to Protect campaign aims to make UK schools a safer place to report FGM and other forms of gender-based violence. By ensuring school staff and students are aware of these issues, cases can be prevented from happening and young people can be given the right support.

But, we don’t think schools are set up as safe places to report these kind of issues yet.

To be honest, sex education in school is rubbish. I remember the sex ed I got at school. Our teacher standing at the front of a class of 30 giggling teenagers, showing us how to put a condom on a banana. Thanks secondary school – nothing about healthy relationships? Nothing about what gender-based violence is and how to stop it? As a group of young people sick of useless sex education, we want to change this.

Tell me more.

You might have heard, but in 2019 Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will be compulsory in every UK school.

This is a big deal! It’s a chance for FGM and other forms of gender-based violence to be included in every schools curriculum.

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Meeting with the Department for Education to discuss relationships and sex education

What can people do to help?

The government are asking the public what you think should be included in the new RSE curriculum. We won’t get the chance to influence schools curriculums in this way for many years to come – the last time this happened was 17 years ago, so you get the picture.

The consultation closes on 12 February 2018, it won’t take long to take part and include FGM in your suggestions. It is incredibly important that the curriculum reflects and prepares young people for the world we live in today.

On International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, use this chance to have your say.

*You can skip through sections on the form, but don’t forget to mention FGM. Thank you!


Gemma Munday is a volunteer with Youth For Change.

What do you think?

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