UK: Increase in Cases of Female Genital Mutilation in London
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 11:15 AM

The practice of female genital mutilation is illegal in the United Kingdom and is punishable by up to 14 years in jail. The law even extends to British citizens who are subjected to the procedure while abroad. However, according to Dr. Comfort Momah who runs one of the eleven African Well Women Clinics in London, “In my clinic, we see about 350 women and children with [female genital mutilation] related problems every year.” Victims of female genital mutilation may suffer from urinary infections, kidney failure, infertility, and even death. The majority of the women who were subjected to female genital mutilation are from African countries.


Project Azure, a project of the Metropolitan Police Services (The Met) in London, reports that “clinics see about 600 women a year”. The Met has intervened in 122 cases in the past three years. Dr. Momah also notes that, “I see a lot of teenagers now, self-referring to the clinic and getting information from the internet.”


Though interventions and reporting have increased in the past five years, the practice of female genital mutilation still persists even though it is illegal. Dr. Momah advocates that there needs to be prosecution of perpetrators in order to protect women and children from female genital mutilation.


Compiled from: 'Rise in female genital mutilation' in London, BBC, (22 August 2010).