Charity 28 Too Many will ask leaders within the Church of England attending General Synod in York, on Saturday 12th July, to ensure that The Church strengthens its opposition to the harmful traditional practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
It is estimated that 30 million girls in Africa are at risk of FGM in the next 10 years and many more in diaspora communities. According to a recent report by the UK Parliament Home Affairs Select Committee as many as 66,000 girls aged 13 and under are at risk in the UK.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at General Synod, Dr Ann-Marie Wilson (Executive Director, 28 Too Many) will draw on the charity’s research on FGM in Africa to detail the devastating impact of FGM which remains deeply entrenched in many communities. However, there are encouraging signs of change and Dr Wilson will present evidence from Tanzania where church leaders have taken action to reduce FGM in their communities. Actions for church leaders will be proposed, including a call to take a motion to General Synod reinforcing that FGM is not a faith driven and should not be practised by any Christians in the UK, Africa or diaspora.
“On 22nd July the UK Government is hosting the first Girl Summit which is bringing the international community together to commit to end FGM and child marriage. This is an opportunity for church leaders to make a commitment that they will be part of the movement for change and support the abandonment of FGM,” says Dr Wilson. “We want General Synod to show leadership on this issue, strengthen its condemnation of FGM and ensure local churches are supported in taking action to protect those at risk, support survivors and play their part in ending this cruel and unnecessary practice in the UK and overseas.”
The fringe meeting “FGM – let’s end it! “A fringe meeting to help us understand the devastating impact of Female Genital Mutilation and to equip dioceses, local churches and individuals to help put an end to it” takes place at 19:00 – 20:30 on Saturday 12th July 2014 in Room P/T005, Exhibition Centre, University of York. The meeting is hosted by Dr Rachel Jordan, National Mission and Evangelism Advisor, Mission and Public Affairs Division, Archbishops’ Council.