September 12, 2016, by Liz Cass
Nottingham takes zero-tolerance stance against Female Genital Mutilation
The City of Nottingham is the first City in the UK to declare a zero-tolerance stance on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The motion was passed at a full Council meeting today (12 September) after Sheriff of Nottingham,Councillor Jackie Morris, proposed the motion.
Councillor Morris has been working closely with Alfreton Road-based group Mojatu Foundation to highlight the issue in an attempt to help end its practice in the City. It is believed that over 60,000 women and young girls are at risk of FGM in the UK alone.
The Sheriff said: “Female Genital Mutilation is something that people think shouldn’t be talked about but that’s partly what makes the practice continue. That’s why I’ll be moving this motion, to make it known that Nottingham is a Zero-tolerance City when it comes to Female Genital Mutilation.”
Valentine Nkoyo, Director Mojatu Foundation and Chair of the Nottingham Community FGM Steering Group said: “I am so thrilled with this news and grateful to our city for taking such a strong stand and we believe that this will keep the subject on the agenda. Survivors and the community steering group have continued to work hard to raise awareness and support those affected so this is such wonderful news which will accelerate our momentum in tackling FGM in Nottingham and beyond.”
Mojatu Foundation will be tackling the issue of FGM on a national level at Nottingham in Parliament Day on October 25. Their panel discussion, which forms part of the Global themed events, will use Nottingham as a model to follow and address the need for accessible service provisions that meet the diverse and complex needs of survivors. There will be a focus on mental health service provision and the legal protection of girls at risk and how research can help to fill the knowledge gaps.
Valentine added: “With about 200 new cases reported each year in Nottingham only, this motion couldn’t have come at a better time. I am glad that our Nottingham FGM Ambassador, Sherriff of Nottingham, Cllr Jackie Moris took on board our request and tabled the motion. We are thankful to all our funders and partners for their support and especially Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, The City Council, Big Lottery Fund, Rosa Fund, Nottingham Women Centre, City and County FGM Strategy Board, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Nottingham among others. This is worth celebrating!”
Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council
said: “This motion represents a real step forward in tackling FGM and helping support and empower communities across our City. The step of supporting the establishment of a referral pathway for the City has the real potential to help change lives.”
The Motion to full Council read:
This Council notes that Female Genital Mutilation represents a risk to physical health, mental health and quality of life for young women across the whole of the United Kingdom. It is believed over 60,000 people are at risk of this abuse in this country alone.
The City Council stands against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and resolves to:
• Make Nottingham a “Zero Tolerance” City in respect to Female Genital Mutilation.
• Work to end the procedure within the city by working closely with survivors, affected communities and other agencies with a responsibility to safeguard and protect.
• Provide training for staff to help spot the signs associated with Female Genital Mutilation.
• Work closely with grassroot organisations, survivors and communities to prevent children being removed from the city to experience Female Genital Mutilation.
• Help support potential survivors of Female Genital Mutilation to say no and raise awareness amongst their peers and communities.
• Help with raising awareness and keep the subject on the agenda while showcasing the successes of Nottingham.
• Support the establishment of a referral pathway for the City.