Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA) is offering the chance to get informed about female genital mutilation (FGM) to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, which takes place on Friday (6th).
BSWA is excited to launch ‘Unstitch’, an animation about FGM created by BSWA’s young women’s FGM action group, in collaboration with young people’s organization Fixers. The short clip combines key facts about FGM with real women’s experiences, and provides a beautifully presented quick education on the issues around FGM. ‘Unstitch’ is available to watch and share on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D-ge_D8LhA.
The BSWA young women’s FGM group will come together again on Friday to celebrate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. They are creating a new short film, focusing on views on and perceptions of FGM in Birmingham. The clip will be available to view online.
BSWA has also received an overwhelmingly positive response to the announcement of FGM training sessions for professionals in March and April. The sessions, which will focus on understanding, identifying and responding to FGM, became fully booked within two days of their launch. The timing of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is topical for Birmingham, following news last week that the city’s Heartlands Hospital dealt with 1,500 cases of FGM in the space of five years.
Nasheima Sheikh, Manager of the BSWA FGM Community Development Project, says,
“FGM has serious consequences for the health of women and girls. I am pleased to say that 90% of those from practising communities who attend BSWA’s intensive FGM sessions report wanting to end the practice by the end.”
BSWA’s FGM Community Development project has reached over 1,500 people since its launch in 2010, when it was the first of its kind in the West Midlands. In the past twelve months, BSWA has supported 65 women directly affected by FGM. The project delivers training to professionals from education, policing, children’s services, health and beyond, provides one to one support to women through the Heartlands Hospital FGM Clinic and has reached over 100 women and girls through its women’s groups.