BREAKING NEWS! UK Prime Minister to announce historic investment in ending FGC
Government to announce historic investment to end FGC
According to today’s Sunday Times (which I’m reading online in New York!) the UK Prime Minister will make an announcement of an historic investment in ending female genital cutting. It looks likely this will happen on Friday 8th March, International Women’s Day.
UK to lead the international drive to end FGC
The report states that:
‘Lynne Featherstone, the international development minister with responsibility for women, is to lead the international drive to eradicate FGM. She believes it can be reduced by 30% in five years and abolished as a cultural norm within a generation.’
This is incredible and welcome news. A 30% reduction in 5 years is very ambitious, but if ever there were a time for ambition and big gestures, it is now. Investing in ending FGC is one of the reasons that we set up Orchid and we have campaigned tirelessly to get this result. We wanted to show that the time to invest is now, given the momentum already happening and given the impacts of FGC on the lives of 130 million girls and women.
I am here in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women and we expect Lynne Featherstone the DFID Minister to announce the forthcoming commitment on Tuesday. We will urge the interntational community and other donors to also step up to leverage the UK investment.
Ending FGC within a generation
In the article, the Minister goes on to say:
‘The girl who undergoes FGM is the same girl who is taken out of school early to marry, and the same girl who dies before she reaches age 20, giving birth to her third child,’ she said.
‘FGM has been a highly neglected area within international development, considered too taboo and, frankly, too difficult to tackle. The new programme is ambitious, with the aim of ending FGM in a generation.’
The eagle eyed among you will recognise the first part of the Minister’s quote as one used widely across our literature and that was first told to us by UNFPA Director Dr Nafy Diop. We feel it perfectly summarises the realities of FGC.
If the Sunday Times is trailing the story correctly, then to have David Cameron give this profile to ending female genital cutting along with the resources it needs, is truly extraordinary.
All Orchid Project supporters should be proud of helping to make this happen. Watch this space for the devilish details!