Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of gender based violence and illegal in the UK. However, it is estimated that 60,000 girls under 14 could be at risk of FGM in the UK, and that FGM is most commonly carried out when a girl is aged between 5 and 8.
We believe school staff in the UK could play a key role in the eradication of FGM, prevent cases from happening, and providing support to victims. That's why since 2015, we've been running our #TrainToProtect campaign to advocate on this issue.
This morning, Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening announced increased funding to tackling FGM in schools. Youth For Change, a youth-led campaigning organisation that focuses on ending FGM, have welcomed the announcement and are hopeful for the initiative to become more ambitious over time.
Gemma Munday, Campaigner for Youth For Change, said:
"It is encouraging to see the Education Secretary putting FGM at the heart of her department's agenda. Research by Youth for Change shows 94% of young people feel school staff don’t know enough about FGM. Teachers are front line professionals, and often the first point of call for young people, so there is a need for them to have standardised, regulated training on the issue.
We believe the Minister's announcement is a welcome start, and we hope that the initiative becomes increasingly ambitious over time, with mandatory training for teachers the ultimate route to young people's safety.
Find out more about our #TrainToProtect campaign.