February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. This is a day when we remember the 137,000 British women who have been affected by female genital mutilation. It is a day when globally we commit to doing more to protect the 3 million girls who are at risk each year of having parts of their bodies forcibly removed. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that has existed since ancient Egyptian times; it is one of the most severe forms of violence against women and girls and has serious mental and physical health implications that can last a lifetime.
Rosa is committed to ensuring that women and girls are safe and live free from violence; as well as working towards ensuring that women and girls are able to get the help and care that they need. We are proud to play a key part in the Tackling FGM Initiative, a six year initiative that funded and supported grass roots community based organisations to respond to and prevent FGM. In the six years we have supported 43 organisations to tackle FGM in their local areas and across the UK. In this time we have reached over 5,000 women, men, professionals and community leaders; as well as provided support to 500 women ensuring that they are healthy and safe. Rosa has also influenced policy ensuring that more effective legislation is in place to protect girls, lobbied for training ensuring professionals can support women and leveraged resources to continue to champion the amazing work that women and community based organisations are doing to end this human rights violation.
February 6th is a day when we remember that 60,000 girls under 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK. It is a day where although we recognize the progress we have made, we acknowledge that there is more to do. It is a day where we renew our commitment to protecting girls, supporting women and championing change.