Female genital mutilation is now a factor in every area of England and Wales, from inner-city London to rural Wales, as an estimated 137,000 women and girls in the UK have already been mutilated according to tribal and religious custom.
As well as bringing back old practices long stamped out in Britain like slavery, mass immigration has also brought new evils to the United Kingdom like female genital mutilation (FGM) – the practice of cutting off a girls clitoris and labia before stitching up the vulva – which is now prevalent in every corner of England and Wales, according to a new report. Concentration of women who have had their genitals disfigured in this way varies depending on location and demographic, which the highest concentrations of FGM victims in areas with the highest proportions of immigrants.
A spokesman for Equality Now, the group who performed the study, said:
“From what we’ve seen, it comes down to migration… Southwark obviously has a higher population of migrants who have come from practising countries, but then again, you need to look at more details about which countries they have come from.”
Southwark is estimated by the group to be the local authority with the highest proportion of mutilated women, where 4.74 per cent – roughly one in 20 – of all women have been cut. The majority are thought to have been cut in their home nations, either before they moved to the UK or during special trips organised back to the home country by their family for the purpose, but FGM in Britain is believed to be increasingly prevalent. One in 10 births in the area are to women who have had FGM.
Outside of London, other immigration hubs like Manchester, Slough, Bristol, Leicester and Birmingham suffer from FGM. The Huffington Post reports estimates that in these cities, between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent of women have been cut. Although numbers are significantly lower in more rural local authorities, the report estimates there is not a single authority in England or Wales that doesn’t have permanent residents who have been cut.
There is a growing global movement to bring an end to the barbaric practice of FGM, but it is only gaining momentum slowly. The practice is dearly held onto in some tribal and religious communities and despite the practice having been banned in hotspot Nigeria in the past year, and Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali, Yemen and Zambia working on laws to ban the practice, convictions are difficult to obtain. The insular nature of the communities that practice FGM and its essentially hidden nature means even in the UK, where prosecution of the practice is comparatively proactive, there have been zero successful prosecutions for mutilation.
In countries like Egypt, Guinea, Somalia and Djibouti, it is estimated that 90 per cent of women are mutilated over the course of their lifetimes, as locals erroneously believe the cutting yields health benefits.
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