28 Too Many very much welcomes the announcement today that the UK government has committed £35m to ending female genital mutilation (FGM) as a formidable step forward in ending the mutilation of 3 million girls and women worldwide.
Dr Ann-Marie Wilson, 28 Too Many Executive Director, says: ‘We are thrilled that the UK government has chosen to invest such a significant sum into ending FGM. This truly is a milestone for the 8,000 girls and women at risk of FGM everyday around the world. We are especially excited at the prospect of a good proportion of this funding going into research. As an organisation committed to ending FGM in the 28 countries in Africa, research is one of our priority areas. We are completing in-depth research in four African countries and it is clear that programmes of local action tailored to local communities are essential in responding to the nuanced and complex issue of FGM. This is an absolutely necessary approach to bring it to an end.’
Dr Wilson is glad to be at UN Commission on the Status of Women workingwith government and representing civil society and the FGM sector at this time. 28 Too Many was established in 2010 with the remit of reducing FGM by 10% in ten African countries within ten years. With this considerable investment from the UKgovernment in anti-FGM organisations and programmes, the charity is confident that profound change can be achieved within communities that combine the strategies of prevention, protection and legislation, both here in the UK and within African practising countries.
FGM is increasingly a higher profile issue and the fact that it affects 3 million girls and women annually necessitates a proportionate response in funding and state action. To date, investment in change has been ad hoc and minimal; this £35m funding from the UK will be enormously helpful in addressing this traumatic violation of human rights and women’s bodily integrity.