Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an unacceptable and illegal practice, and an extreme violation of human rights. FGM reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes a severe form of discrimination against women and girls. FGM has no health benefits, and is an extremely harmful practice that always carries devastating short and long-term health consequences for women and girls.
We continue to take forward a range of work to prevent and eradicate FGM. We are committed to preventing FGM, and this means challenging the norms and ideas that perpetrate it, raising awareness of the dangers of the practice, and sending a strong message that FGM will not be tolerated in Scotland. We also want to ensure that we are able to protect women and girls at risk, which requires guaranteeing that we are able to identify those in danger, and then implement proper protocols to provide them with robust protection. Lastly, we are committed to ensuring the provision of effective and high-quality services to FGM survivors. This includes specialised medical care through maternity services, or access to mental health support to help with the psychological side-effects that often go hand-in-hand with FGM. The Scottish Government is committed to preventing and eradicating FGM through prevention, protection and provision. This is why the we have worked closely with our partners to develop and publish Scotland’s National Action Plan to Prevent and Eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); this ambitious plan was published in February 2016, and since then we have made good progress on our objectives.
Central to our work has been a sustained and collaborative community-based approach towards tackling FGM. With that in mind, the actions and objectives set out in the National Action Plan have been taken forward under the guidance of a multi-agency FGM National Action Plan Implementation Group. By monitoring progress on an ongoing bases, we are able to give a clear picture of the widespread variety of work that is being carried out to help realise our ambitions in this area. Through this, we are also able to ensure that our activities align with the wider work to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls that is being progressed through our Equally Safe Strategy.
We recognise that there are no quick fixes to tackling FGM; it is a complex and hidden issue, and there is no single solution to ending it. However, since publication, alongside our partners in the statutory and third sectors, and community-based organisations, we have made good progress against all the themes of the plan; this report provides an insight into our work. I am committed to ensuring that we continue on this journey until FGM is fully eradicated from Scottish society.
Minister for Older People and Equalities
Email: Nadia Abu-Hussain@gov.scot