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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Campaign to Stop Female Genital Mutilation

September 21, 2010
Screen Africa

A radio documentary highlighting the illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) produced by a group of teenagers from Bristol will be broadcast on Wednesday 22 September on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. The radio programme will broadcast part of the project and interview its creators about the issues it raises.
The project, run by the charity Integrate Bristol, was made possible thanks to Mediabox funding awarded to the group with the help of South West Screen.
The group of young women, who remain anonymous, interviewed a range of experts for the documentary, including FGM expert Sarah McCulloch, Doctor Hilary Cooling who provided a medical insight into the risks of the procedure, Cross Government FGM Co-ordinator Hannah Buckley, and Dave McCallum, Chief Detective Inspector of Somerset Police. Also interviewed were an Imam who explained the truth about FGM and Islam, as well as young men and a mothers and grandmother from the Somali community.
Integrate Bristol says: “The main aim of this group of brave young women was to raise awareness about this dangerous, traumatic and illegal practice, and to raise questions about why so little is being done to protect vulnerable girls. They chose radio as a medium because they felt it would allow themselves, as well as interviewees from practicing cultures, a greater degree of privacy. It also became clear that there is a real need for a national helpline for girls who have any questions or concerns regarding FGM.
Female genital mutilation is a cultural practice carried out in more than 28 African countries, particularly Somalia, Egypt and Sudan, where part or all of the genitalia is removed from girls. The practice, which is illegal in the UK and most other countries including Somalia and Sudan, can cause urinary infections, kidney failure and death. In the UK, it is estimated that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM.
In Bristol alone it is believed that around 2,000 girls are at risk. For more information visit