The Independent is reporting today that over 500 cases of Female Genital mutilation were reported in English Hospitals last November.
An average of 15 cases were discovered each day in November, according to data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Given that these were cases that were reported to hospitals you have to wonder how widespread this barbaric practice is in the UK.
Despite the practice of Female Genital Mutilation being illegal since 1985 no-one has yet been convicted for the practice. Dhanuson Dharmasena is currently on trial accused of performing FGM on a patient at the Whittington hospital in north London, it is the first prosecution of its kind.
FGM is the deliberate partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
It is often performed in north and east Africa, as well as in some Middle Eastern and Asian cultures, on pre-pubescent girls and is thought to mark the passage into womanhood.
In the UK it is estimated that 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk every year, according to the Plan charity, which campaigns against the practice. Globally, 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM.
Around a quarter of NHS trusts did not submit figures to the HSCIC, which means the true number of cases is likely to be higher.
As a man I cannot even begin to imagine the pain, humiliation and trauma this barbaric practice has. I cannot even begin to imagine why and how anyone can think this practice is acceptable.
What do you think?