Blog

Belfast Medics run 26 miles for 28 Too Many!

Be inspired you to see what can be done as you read below about what a team of 5 Obstetric & Gynaecology Doctors (ranging from age 27-56) from Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, Northern Ireland achieved when running the Belfast Marathon Relay on 7th May 2012.

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How do we keep our children safe in a multi-cultural society? Ann-Marie Wilson, Founder/Director

In the light of the recent front page article in the Sunday Times on 22nd April that have have led to a couple of arrests for offering FGM services in the UK, how do we keep our children safe from cultural traditional practices that cause harm under human rights legislation, whilst preserving cultural heritage? 28 Too Many was

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Want to make a difference? Talking about FGM is a good place to start.

A Blog by Louise Robertston, 28 Too Many's New Operations Co-Ordinator

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How has 28 Too Many taken to the streets?

Two special dates came up in our calendar in February and March – anti-FGM Day (6th February) and International Women’s Day (8th March). Each are full of key events, and for us, anti-FGM Day was marked by two Women’s Hour broadcasts on FGM in Senegal and Egypt. We attended a conference at the Royal College

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What difference do ‘special days’ like Anti-FGM (6th Feb) and International Women’s Day (8th March) make?

The empowerment of women & girls has risen up the development agenda this decade, backed by powerful financial institutions with CSR policies; the philanthropic departments of major organisations (Vodafone and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations) and influential donors (USAID & DfID). What hope have we that this overlooked group will fulfil its potential? On the

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What will you be doing on 6th February?

As we mark anti-FGM Day (6th February) with attending a conference at the Royal College of Obstrectics & Gynaecologists, a reception at Westminster and an event with Sister Fa, we reflect on the last 3 months of 28TooMany activities, read on……! Journey to help change traditional practices At the end my Conference in Kenya, I

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Harnessing creativity – when can the arts change hearts and minds on controversial topics?

This month I attended Mike Leigh’s play ‘Grief’ – where a 1950’s war widow ‘survives’ through smoking and alcohol; her brother becomes depressed upon ‘retirement’ after 45 years of work and the 16 year old daughter commits suicide upon failing her exams with no hope for the future

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What has led to young girls seeking a ‘designer vagina’? What’s it got to do with FGM? What would you do if your daughter had asked for one for Christmas?!

As many of us recover from over spending or over indulgence, spare a thought for young women influenced by the porn industry’s influence on ‘male’ desires of beauty, to seek vaginal cosmetic surgery. Labiaplasty is on the increase, rising by 70% from 2007-8 on the NHS, as confirmed by conversations with a couple of gynaecologists I recently met at a conference. The under 18 girls had researched well their mental health ‘trauma’ at having slightly unequal labia, so presented as needing surgery. Despite the fact we all have different feet, hands and breasts, there is an increase in the need for portrayed perfection, as girls are increasingly under pressure to shave their pubic areas – and so notice or are told their two labia are different sizes. It is ironic that in some of the 28 African countries that still practice FGM, labia are pulled to elongate – which is classed as Type IV

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Falling between the cracks

As I know from working in Barnet, the borough is diverse – 33% of the population coming from the black and minority ethnic population, placing it 16th rank position in London. At the first anti-FGM meeting we held in Barnet recently under Safeguarding Month, 26 professionals attended to hear speakers from 28TooMany, Imkaan and FORWARD, sharing about FGM. Yet, why do women still fall through the cracks?

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What is the 16 Days of Activism Campaign?

It’s an annual global campaign taking place from 25th November – 10th December, aiming to raise awareness around gender based violence (GBV). It begins on International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November) and ends on International Human Rights Day (10th December), symbolically linking violence against women (VAW) as a violation against human rights

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Are we silent to violence around us?

‘We’re perpetrators. We allowed this to happen’, said a Bishop form the Democratic Republic of Congo at the launch of the Silent No More Report (WB1). This response recognised The Church, by its silence, has been complicit in allowing sexual violence to go unaddressed

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How can we support Kenyan communities to abandon the knife – ending FGM?

As I travel to Kenya, my head is full of images and stories of girls undergoing FGM. How can meetings I’ve had recently with MPs and NGOs in London, and plan to hold in Nairobi, end this practice

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How can ‘change’ be made when the challenges seem insurmountable?

This is what I am often asked as I take a stance against FGM, a practice that’s been around for 2000 years. Yet when you read the poem at the end of this - produced with ‘Fouzia’s’ permission, a young woman admitted to hospital for FGM complications – how can one not act?

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What do other faiths say about FGM?

This was one of my questions when I studied cross-cultural studies. I knew there as not mention of it in the Bible, but what do faiths say on the subject? Here are some statements made from the three main monotheist religions about their views on

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Where is there help for those who suffer FGM in the UK?

For girls that suffer FGM, it is a very traumatic event, as often these girls do not know what is going to happen to them. Their heads are filled with promises of wonderful gifts and becoming a woman, but what they receive instead is a life full of pain and suffering which is more than physical.

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What are children’s aspirations today? How do they differ for child brides?

‘When I grow up I want to be…’. How often are these eight mortal words spoken from the mouths of babes? My early aspirations included being a surgeon(!), a physio and then a teacher…so how did I become a banker at age 16?! So what do child brides aspire to

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When are cultural practices against the needs of an individual?

TRUE OR FALSE? 1) A woman accepts her exile saying ‘If they say I’m a witch, then I must be’. 2) Are children selected for ritual killings for being left handed, geniuses or dyslexic? 3) Do Cameroonian girls have their pubescent beasts ‘ironed’ to attempt to help them disappear? 4) Are oath rituals are used to coerce children into trafficking? Read on for the answers and explanations

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“FGM – that only happens in Africa doesn’t it?” Not so! Prepare for the summer cutting season in the UK.

Accordingly to Mukami McCrum, FGM is a “violation so intrusive and personal that many people adopt a culture of silence as it is humiliating and embarrassing to talk about”. Due to migration, FGM is not restricted to African geographical or political boundaries. Find out about its presence in the UK below

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How can the power of art change hearts and minds against FGM?

What can a Senegalese urban soul and hip-hop star do to help end FGM? Or groups of Women quilting or embroiding images of female genitalia do to raise awareness of FGM? See how art can change hearts and minds when articles and headlines no longer impact us in our over trauma/stimulated world…

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Why will most of sub-Saharan Africa not achieve the Millenium Development Goals?

With globalisation and the spread of human mobility, health concerns of developed and less developed countries have become interdependent. Just as SARS brought Hong Kong to its knees in 2003, what impact has failing maternal health on our future

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