6 February: Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
Community groups in East London are taking a stance against female genital mutilation (FGM). Ocean Somali based in Mile End has partnered with Tower Hamlets Council to host a prestigious conference to mark the international Zero Tolerance on Female Genital Mutilation Day on Friday, February 6, from 6-8.30pm.
The conference will explore ways in which this harmful practice can be eradicated and how the community and council are supporting women affected.
The UK is taking key steps to not only prevent FGM from happening but also ensure that those who practise it are prosecuted.
Ocean Somali are partnering with the council in hosting the event as Somalis are amongst the foremost communities practising FGM. They are at the forefront of the campaign to eradicate it in Tower Hamlets.
Residents are invited to come along and find out what leading campaigners and activists are doing to empower the community to stamp out FGM by working together.
Speakers include a survivor of FGM, Hodo Ali, who will share her experience of living with the effects of FGM and why she has chosen to campaign against the practice.
A representative from the Women’s Health and Family Services will talk about how they have recruited advocates to empower other women who have undergone FGM and help break the cycle of it taking place.
Fiona Dwyer, the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy manager for Tower Hamlets council will discuss how FGM fits within the council’s wider VAWG Plan.
Dwyer will also discuss how the council is working on a pilot scheme alongside the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to help prevent harmful practices including FGM, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’ based violence and faith based abuse.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “Tower Hamlets is proud to be marking such an important international day. This conference brings key people together and shows just how committed we all are to helping eradicate this practice and work together to end gender based violence.”
Cllr Ohid Ahmed, cabinet member for community safety, added: “Tower Hamlets council continues to work with partners from across the community to ensure we help prevent FGM and all other forms of violence against women and girls. This conference provides us with a key platform to do this.”