Hundres of Liverpool Girls 'Mutilated' in African Ritual
Hundreds of Liverpool girls 'mutilated' in African ritualFeb 5 2008
They call it circumcision. But it’s really mutilation. And it’s happening to young girls in the heart of Liverpool, putting them in danger. Today the ECHO takes a stand against . . .
EXCLUSIVE by Caroline Innes, Liverpool Echo
AFRICAN tribal elders are being flown into the UK to mutilate young Liverpool girls in a “heartbreaking” cultural tradition.
Health officials today revealed girls aged between four and 11 are also being taken abroad during school holidays to be illegally circumcised.
Gynaecologists at Liverpool’s Alder Hey children’s hospital said they had seen young girls suffering complications after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).
In extreme cases, young girls can die of complications
It can also cause damage to surrounding organs and spark infection and urinary problems.
In the long term, girls can be left infertile and prone to severe infections and pelvic diseases.
Police today urged the public to take responsibility for child protection in their communities and report any suspicions about female circumcision.
The most recent figures from Liverpool maternity services identified 237 women with FGM in three years.
In some ethnic communities in the city, 90% of women are mutilated.
But Liverpool Women’s hospital FGM specialist midwife Dorcas Akeju said the figures did not reveal the full extent of the problem.
She said only the most severe cases, in which women were left unable to give birth without corrective surgery, were picked up.
Mrs Akeju said: “This really is one of the last taboos.
“Some of the cases we see and some of the practices we hear about are heartbreaking.
“There is no way that some of these women can give birth without medical intervention, and some fear if we do they will miscarry.
“In Liverpool we have been leading the way, working with our African communities to raise awareness and to educate them.
“We have future plans to develop a gynaecological service specifically for FGM women but our real battle is to ensure this practice stops.
“We want the FGM women we see to be informed of the law so that they do not do this to their daughters.”
In 1989 the government passed a new law on the protection of children and extended powers within the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
This act made it an offence to carry out the procedure and to take any UK national or permanent resident abroad for it to be done.
Anyone found guilty faces up to 14 years in prison.
Mrs Akeju, 63, said: “This is child abuse.
“We are working so hard in Liverpool with many professionals to stop this practice, while having empathy for the women who have been circumcised and understanding the issues around tradition and culture.
“We have heard about girls being taken out of the country during extended school holidays, and are working hard with charities to educate teachers on how to spot signs a girl may have been subjected to FGM.”
It is estimated there are 66,000 FGM women in England and Wales and more than 22,000 girls at risk.
Naana Otoo-Oyrtey is the chief executive director of Forward UK, an organisation working to protect the rights of African girls and women.
She said: “Injuries sustained through FGM are equal to grievous bodily harm.
“As African communities grow, more women are being seen by heath professionals.
“Unfortunately FGM is a valued practice in some cultures who believe if a girl is not circumcised, she will bring shame on the family.
“As long as there continues to be these beliefs, then this practice will still exist.”
An Alder Hey spokeswoman said girls at the hospital were often too young to have been affected.
She said: “The fact we see so few cases is likely to be because problems do not normally occur until later life.
“It is important to stress that any case at the hospital would be handled with the greatest sensitivity.”
Child protection is priority for police >>>
Oh that is so heartbreaking to hear.. So, the men can go about intact; but the poor young woman get the butt-end of this shameful practice, and used and abused for cruel explotations? Extremely appauling.. and good someone is taking notice..
even my eyes are watering, it aint right
If these African men want to live in the UK, they should abide by UK law, this is illegal. I also hear the certain Muslim clerics in Mosques are calling for Sharia Law for themselves here. If living here is so important to them, they should respect the laws as they are.
I hear they have tried it on here, we are only 4 million strong here so they stand out like dogs balls and i've not heard too much about it for a while, instead of the usuall ethnic bs why don't thery make it that if you want to remove a ****oris or a foreskin you need a council permit, not sure if it really is the way to go but maybe the authorities will cut them a break, so to speak
Originally Posted by Ged
06 Feb 2008
Physicians Call For Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Mutilation Across The World
Serious concern about the increasing tendency for female genital mutilation (FGM) to be carried out by medical personnel has been expressed by the World Medical Association.
In a statement to mark the international day of zero tolerance to FGM today, the WMA repeats its strong condemnation of this practice that it says constitutes a severe form of violence against women.
Dr. Jon Snaedal, President of the WMA, said a recent World Health Organisation report indicated that 'the rate of progress towards a significant decline in the practice is slow', although the practice was internationally recognised as a violation of human rights and many countries had put in place policies and legislations to ban it.
He added: 'Because of its serious detrimental impact on the physical and mental health of women and girls, female genital mutilation is a matter of deep concern to physicians. We are particularly worried to note the increasing practice of female genital mutilation by medical personnel. This is in contradiction with our code of ethics, as these practices violate the human rights of women and girls. The WMA is totally opposed to this "medicalization" of FGM '.
Dr. Snaedal called for all physicians and other health professionals to mobilise actively to stop these flagrant forms of violence against women.
In 1993, the WMA adopted a statement on female genital mutilation condemning such practices as a form of oppression of women. In 2005 it strengthened its opposition, urging national medical association to develop educational programmes for physicians, which would:
- Include adequate information on the acute dangers of Female Genital Mutilations for women and girls;
- Raise awareness on such practices as a violation of women's human rights that physicians or other health professionals should never practice under any circumstances,
- Encourage physicians to inform women, men and children about FGM and discourage them from performing or promoting such practices.
The World Medical Association is the independent confederation of national medical associations from more than 80 countries and represents more than eight million physicians. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all people.
Source: Medical News Today
We must put stop to horror for girls
Feb 6 2008
by Caroline Innes, Liverpool Echo
A LIVERPOOL midwife today took centre stage in a worldwide call for an end to the mutilation of young girls.
Dorcas Akeju, OBE, said there should be zero tolerance to circumcision or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) carried out in the name of cultural tradition.
Mrs Akeju, 63, Liverpool Women's hospital specialist midwife who has seen at first hand the horrific consequences of FGM, is a leading campaigner against the practice.
She was in London today to speak at a meeting held to mark International Zero Tolerance to FGM Day.
I have heard Mrs Akeju speak on Radio Merseyside over the years - she talks alot of sense.
The Door Bell
The voices in my head
My eyes leak for these ladies.
I saw horror of girl mutilation
Feb 7 2008
by Caroline Innes, Liverpool Echo
A MERSEYSIDE doctor has spoken of the horrific results of female genital mutilation (FGM) that she saw while caring for patients in Kenya.
Tina Buckley, a former surgical doctor at Arrowe Park hospital, said she was shocked not only at the extent of the appalling practice, which is widespread in east Africa, but also at the results, which included death.
Dr Buckley said that while caring for maternity patients in one area of the country all but one patient she saw had been circumcised.
She said: “The procedure is often referred to as female genital mutilation, and having seen the results in patients who attended my obstetric clinic, mutilation is the most accurate description.”
Dr Buckley was speaking out after the ECHO this week revealed that girls from African communities in Liverpool were still undergoing FGM in the UK and after being flown to Africa.
Dr Buckley said in its worst form much more flesh is cut off by the razor blades, causing immediate and long-term harm.
She said: “Some will bleed to death.
“Methods of stopping bleeding are primitive and ineffective. Others will develop infection which can lead to blood poisoning and death at a later stage.
“Long term, the problems I encountered in victims include difficulty passing urine, severe menstrual pain, emotional difficulties in responding to one’s partner and obstructed childbirth.
“In the months I spent working in Kenya, I saw only one maternity patient who was not circumcised.”
Dr Buckley, who has a diploma from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, explained that girls and their families were pressured to maintain the FGM tradition.
She said: “In tribal thinking, circumcision is designed to remove sensory nerves and reduce the ‘risk’ of infidelity.
“If a woman cannot associate physical intimate contact with anything pleasant, it is thought she is less likely to stray.
“Some tribal men I spoke to said they’d be worried if married to a non-circumcised woman.
“Other younger men say the tradition of FGM is a terrible one.
“As young African women become more educated and better informed, some are refusing circumcision.
“But sadly many girls are unable to defend themselves. As a result many girls are powerless against a culture that expects this of them.”
Anyone who suspects a child is at risk of FGM can call the police in confidence on 0151-777 4589. For advice and support Liverpool’s FGM advocacy worker – who speaks Somali – can be reached on 0151-296 7430. Alternatively visit www.fgm-liverpool.org
Source: Liverpool Echo
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