FGM Conference 2016
An estimated 137,000 women in the UK are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), with a further 125 million having undergone the practice in the 29 countries where it is most prevalent, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics. FGM is practiced for a variety of cultural reasons, but has no health benefits and can cause both short and long-term complications. Both government legislation and campaigners are attempting to raise awareness about FGM, change cultural attitudes towards it and, ultimately, eradicate its practice.
Join us for The FGM Conference 2016, where high level speakers will share their views on what can be done to protect women and girls in the UK from the dangerous practice of FGM. Topics covered will include cultural attitudes and the impact of the practice, preventative measures introduced by the Government, and what is being done to raise awareness.
Please register interest below and we will keep you updated
|Peggy Mulongo||Co-founder, Nestac|
|Celia Jeffreys||Head of National FGM Centre|
|Angie Marriott||Independent Consultant/ Trainer, Diversity and Employment solutions|
|Professor Alison Macfarlane||Professor of Perinatal Health, City University London|
|Lisa Zimmermann||Director, Integrate Bristol|
|The Revd. George Lane||Co-ordinating Chaplain, The Chaplaincy Manchester Airport|
Although it has been illegal in the UK since 1985, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an ongoing problem, particularly in areas with larger populations of communities with a strong tradition of the practice. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the motivations behind FGM vary from region to region and include a mix of sociocultural factors within families and communities. It goes on to state that the practice aims to control female sexuality, often being cited as a requirement to ensure extramarital chastity.
FGM carries a variety of risks, which generally increase with the severity of the procedure, according to the NHS flagship website. Complications include severe pain, and even death in extreme cases, as well as problems urinating and menstruating, increased risk of childbirth complications and psychological problems.
The UK Government has introduced legislative measures to protect vulnerable girls and women from FGM. The 2015 Serious Crime Act made amendments to the 2003 FGM Act, including ensuring the anonymity of victims who come forward and making provisions for courts to impose protection orders.
From 31 October 2015, the act also made it a mandatory duty for people working in a regulated profession (healthcare professionals, teachers, social workers etc) to report cases of FGM to the police. The new rules state that this safeguarding duty should be carried out at the earliest opportunity, ideally by the end of the next working day, and failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.
Public Health Minister Jane Ellison launched the FGM prevention week of action from 8-14 February 2016 to raise awareness of the ongoing need to protect women and girls from this often hidden crime. This week follows the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February, which aims to enhance awareness-raising campaigns and take concrete action against FGM.
Several anti-FGM campaigns have turned to the men in practising communities for support in changing cultural attitudes. UK charity FORWARD launched the Men Speak Out campaign in 2015, with the aim of including men in the prevention of FGM in Europe.
FGM is often seen as a ‘women’s issue’, discouraging men from voicing an opinion or becoming involved in its prevention. FORWARD states, however, that male involvement is essential, especially as FGM is often practiced to increase male sexual pleasure and ensure marriageability.
Delegates attending The FGM Conference 2016 will learn about the cultural attitudes and impacts of FGM, how the Government’s legislative agenda is helping to protect girls and women, and how raising awareness can help eradicate that practice.
Registration and Refreshments
Opening Remarks from Chair
Peggy Mulongo, Co-founder, Nestac
Professor Alison Macfarlane, Professor of Perinatal Health, City University London
Alison Macfarlane joined City University London in March 2001 to lead research in the Department of Midwifery. As a statistician, she is interested in the use of statistics in their relationship with policy, in relation to health and maternity issues.
(KEYNOTE) Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (INVITED)
Jane Ellison was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health at the Department of Health in October 2013. She was elected Conservative MP for Battersea in 2010.
Refreshments, Exhibition & Networking
Carmel Bagness, Professional Lead for Midwifery & Women's Health, Royal College of Nursing (INVITED)
Carmel Bagness is a registered nurse, practicing midwife and midwifery educationalist. Her professional background includes expertise in midwifery practice, education and leadership, with particular interests in reproductive and women’s health ethics and human rights for women.
Comfort Momoh MBE, Midwife and FGM/Public Health Specialist, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, London and Member of the FGM National Group (INVITED)
Comfort Momoh is a FGM Consultant/Public Health Specialist and is a staunch campaigner for the eradication of FGM. Comfort established and runs the African Well Woman’s Clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas Foundation Trust in London, a support service for women and girls who have undergone FGM.
Karen Bradley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime) (INVITED)
Karen Bradley was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Home Office in February 2014. She was elected Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands in May 2010.
Celia Jeffreys, Head of National FGM Centre, Barnardo’s (partner of the LGA)
FGM and The Mandatory Reporting Duty – What the professional needs to know and best practice
The delegate learning outcomes will include:
Lunch and Networking
Fahma Mohamed, Lead on EndFGM Guardian Campaign (INVITED)
Fahma Mohamed, a trustee of Integrate Bristol has led on a campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools. Backed by the Guardian, her petition had over 230,000 signatures and she has garnered support from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE, Executive Director of FORWARD (INVITED)
Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE is the Executive Director of FORWARD, the lead organisation in the UK tackling FGM. She provides expert advice to the UK government on women and girls and the European Parliament on FGM
Closing Remarks from Chair
Peggy Mulongo, Co-founder, Nestac
Close of Conference
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- Prevalence of FGM
- Sociocultural factors motivating FGM
- Long and short term side effects
- Government legislation to protect girls and women
- Amendments to the 2003 FGM Act
- Impact of the new Safeguarding Duty
- Raising awareness through FGM prevention week
- Aims of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
- Changing cultural attitudes towards FGM
- Importance of involving the male voice in anti-FGM campaigning
Who should attend?
Commissioning managers / leads, Safeguarding leads/LSCB members, FGM Trust leads, Health and Wellbeing Board chairs / Public Health leads, Local authority leads / councillors, Social workers, Primary and secondary teachers, teaching assistants, head teachers, those working in education with links to well-being services or delivery of PSHE, Community groups & 3rd sector organisations, GPs, midwives, nurses, health visitors, school nurses, other multi-disciplinary professionals