Parents of children who undergo female genital mutilation will face prosecution as David Cameron pledged today to end FGM in a generation. And it’s not before time as thousands of women in this country have undergone the procedure either within the UK (yes, it does happen here) or very often whisked off abroad.
The commonest age for girls to be circumcised is between 8 and 13. The results, according to the World Health Organisation, are a grim range of medical disorders that you can check out on their fact sheet. Contrary to what some conservative Muslim sources say online, it has zero medical benefits. It would shock you to know – I hope – that some allegedly learned preachers falsely claim that FGM improves genital hygiene. It most certainly does not.
I’ve been working with a Muslim women’s network in recent months that campaigns hard to eradicate FGM. But it’s one of several issues that Muslim women still face like forced marriage, imprisonment in the home and rape in marriage. There are many non-Muslims who find it uncomfortable to admit these things are happening – and they don’t raise it for fear of being dubbed “islamophobic”. It’s a crazy situation where western liberals ignore the suffering of Muslim women in order to be PC. But there you go.