Monday, 4 April 2016

Anti FGM campaigner assaulted

An Exclusive with Hibo Wardere

The fight for women's rights continues not just in foreign climes but in our own backyard. 

Last year the BBC reported:

Victims of female genital mutilation are likely to be living in every area of England and Wales, a report says.

FGM victims tend to be concentrated in cities, especially London, but no local authority area is "likely to be free from FGM entirely", City University London and Equality Now found.

Southwark in London had the highest FGM prevalence; an estimated 4.7% of women.

Highest estimates elsewhere were for Manchester, Slough, Bristol, Leicester and Birmingham - ranging from 1.2-1.6%.

There is an urgent need to tackle what campaigner Hibo Wardere quite rightly calls child abuse. 

For her efforts she was attacked on a bus in Walthamstow. The London Evening Standard reports:

The mother-of-seven from Walthamstow told the Standard how after speaking at one local school a child realised she had undergone FGM and confided in a teacher. “It broke my heart into a million pieces,” she said. “It takes real courage to stand up at such a young age and seek help, especially against the wishes of your family.”

But the Somalian’s outspoken approach and refusal to sugar-coat the topic with young children has made her the target of attacks.

She said: “I had a scary confrontation on the 257 bus in Walthamstow. A woman with a full niqab recognised me and ran at me screaming my name and snarling, ‘You came to my child’s school, you told her FGM was abuse.’

“I could only see her eyes but they were full of rage. She was so angry she had to be dragged off the bus, but I was jumping for joy inside because that meant a child had confronted their parent.”

A recent City University London and Equality Now study shows that FGM has been carried out on 137,000 women and girls living in England and Wales but Mrs Wardere believes these figures will sky-rocket once a full NHS survey comes out next year.

In the meantime her new book Cut, One Woman's Fight Against FGM in Britain Today is released on Thursday.

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