Tuesday, October 06, 2015


On the rare occasions when Yasmin Alibhai-Brown gets something right she can be magnificent, as was shown by her "Dear Auntie Yasmin" article in the Sunday Times which I wrote about here. An example has been her support for victims of Female Genital Mutiliation or FGM.

One of the meetings I attended yesterday was a very harrowing presentation on Female Genital Mutilation, a meeting organised by Conservative MEPs and chaired by Julie Girling MEP with the Solicitor General (Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon) among the panel, along with a community midwife who has had to deal with the consequences of this form of ghastly abuse and an FGM survivor. This was the meeting at which Robert made the statement which I have down as my quote yesterday.

This abhorrent crime has no place in the 21st century world.


Tim said...

Was FGM a problem in the 60s or 70s ? Where has it all come from ? Does anyone know ? Or does anyone care to say ?

Chris Whiteside said...

The honest answer is that we have no idea whether FGM was a problem in Britain in the 60s or 70s because at that time it did not occur to anyone in authority that people in Britain might do such a horrid thing, so they were not looking.

Tim said...

surely you can do better than this Chris , surely ??!!??

Chris Whiteside said...

Are you seriously suggesting that either of us, or anyone else, has any figures on this?

We can hazard a guess that within those communities where FGM is a problem, which were smaller in the UK back in the 60's or 70's, the proportion of women and girls from those communities who were victims of those barbarities was probably similar to what it is today. But a guess is all that is.

We also know that FGM was a problem in the countries that those communities came from.

You can argue that this is an imported problem, but that is irrelevant, because it is our problem now, because it is now happening to people who were born here and we have a responsibility to stop this disgusting practice being inflicted on any UK citizen.

Simon said...

It wasn't a problem in the 60s - nobody did it ! We imported the problem, wake up and smell the coffee.

Chris Whiteside said...

Simon, if you have any evidence for that assertion I would be interested to learn of it. I have no evidence to the contrary, either. But in the absence of evidence we can only suspect it probable that as the advocates of this vile practice regard it as traditional, it is probable that in those communities where it is a problem today (which were smaller in the UK than they are now) the proportion of girls and women who were victims of FGM was similar.

As for the suggestion that we imported the problem, you can make a case for that but the potential victims who are here now are not to blame. We cannot absolve ourselves of our responsibility to them to do our best to stamp it out.