Why You Need To Know About FGM - And Why It Must Be Stopped Now

6 February 2018, 12:51

Campaigner Nimco Ali told James O'Brien why we all need to know about FGM - and why she is campaigning so hard to stop it.

Nimco was born in Somaliland and moved to Manchester at the age of 4. She was seven when she was taken to Djibouti to be cut.

As an adult, she has become one of Britain's leading campaigners to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation for good.

Speaking on LBC, she explained why people need to act on it: "FGM is the non-medical procedure of cutting or creating damage to the female anatomy. There is no medical reason, it's just symbolically done to girls.

"There are three specific types of FGM. Type 1 is a clitendectomy, a removal either partially or totally of the clitoris. Type 2 is a clitendectomy with also the removal of the labia. Type 3, the most invasive, is where the clitoris is either totally or partially removed, the female lips on the vagina are removed as well and then they are stitched together. That is the one that leads to the main health complications.

Nimco Ali told LBC why we need to End FGM
Nimco Ali told LBC why we need to End FGM. Picture: LBC

"It's a form of ensuring chastity. People would try to explain to me why FGM happens and they would always say it was to keep them virgins.

"My answer was who's a six or seven-year-old having sex with? I think the fact that we have to talk about chastity at the age of six or seven leads to ask who are these girls at risk of being abused by?"

There was one incident that informed Nimco about the scale of the problem. She was doing a talk in a school in Bristol and casually asked how many of the girls had heard of FGM. It turned out that 13 of the 14 of them had been subjected to FGM.

James O'Brien called Nimco's story "inspiring". You can find out more about her work at dofeve.org.