Each year, 6,500 girls in central London could undergo female genital mutilation. Now the city hopes to curb the practice by raising awareness through the integration of FGM education in secondary school curriculum.
Although female genital mutilation (FGM) is most commonly performed in Africa, where some 30 countries have subjected approximately 92 million girls to this practice, it is also an issue in Western countries. Parents from immigrant communities in countries including Germany, France and the United Kingdom are taking their young daughters abroad to subject them to FGM. Anecdotal evidence also points to it taking place in large European centers like London.
The United Nations has declared FGM, the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, a gross human rights violation on account of the horrific consequences it has on its victims. Consequences of FGM include chronic pelvic infections, prolonged bleeding, difficulty urinating and pain during sexual intercourse. Complications during childbirth and obstetric fistula as a result of prolonged labor due to FGM can also occur.