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Apologies as the last post wasn’t published and Domtila came to UK to receive her well deserved from HM Queen Elizabeth.

We held a most successful training with Traditional Birth Attendants in Muino in September, just gone.  This followed on from earlier sensitisation on Feb 6th this year, i.e. Zero Tolerance to FGM day (see earlier post).

Muino is our newest area we have begun to work in. We have just held a Men’s forum two weeks ago and are now planning our annual ARP (alternative rite of passage ceremony) in December.

Please check out our Facebook page and twitter to see more news and pictures.


Thanks as ever , cath

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Looking forward to our very own Domtila Chesang who will be visiting UK this month to receive this prestigious award from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her relentless work in the fight against FGM in Pokot and beyond.
Watch this space for news and pictures.
Thanks as ever for interest and support.


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Today is International Women’s Day. A chance to raise awareness of the continued daily struggles faced by women and girls across the globe.

FGM is one of the most brutal and physical manifestations of violence against women, and is recognised by the UN to be concentrated in a band of 30 countries across North and Eastern Africa and the Middle East.

But FGM is an international problem, not just a regional one.

Growing migration is an obvious source for the spread of FGM. But it is a mistake to think that it affects only Muslim women from Africa and the Middle East.

Last year the GUARDIAN reported FGM happened to me in white, midwest America.

Cases such as this show the physicality of FGM is a live issue across cultures and backgrounds.

It also undermines arguments about cultural relativism requiring non-practicing communities to mind their own business.

Nimco Ali has spoken this morning on BBC R4 Women’s Hour to discuss how the involvement of women beyond those who suffer directly has brought momentum to the fight against FGM. She argues FGM is overarchingly a gender-based issue.

The particularities of FGM do vary within each instance. But addressing it with the collective voice of women (and men!) has the strength to break down the boundaries that shouldn’t have power over us, and instead raise up the values that underline our common humanity:

Personal freedom and choice, over our own bodies, is a minimum standard. 

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A few pictures from the event hosted by Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo earlier this month

6thfebno1 6thfebno5



6thfebno3 6thfebno6


As you can see, the event was a great success and well attended.

But the fight against FGM is all year round:



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Part of the Government response to FGM, under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, is the Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO).

Since the introduction of the FGMPO in 2015, as part of a broader legal response to FGM, there has been a relatively low uptake in the number of orders granted. In the first three months of availability (July to September 2015) 18 FGMPOs were made.* At the most recent count (July to September 2016) 11 orders were made, although there were 20 applications.**

In contrast, the model for the FGMPO, the Forced Marriage Protection Order, received 80 applications during the latest period with 65 applications made.**

An allowance could be made on the basis that the FMPO was available from 2008, and with time, the FGMPO will become more widely acknowledged and utilised by victims, communities, and authorities alike.

HOWEVER a recent Freedom of Information request by the NSPCC has revealed that all FGMPOs have been issued in England, with Wales failing to secure the implementation of a single protective order.

Although the Welsh population is much smaller than that in England, Wales is not immune to this global problem. A 2015 report estimates that Cardiff has a prevalence rate of 7 per 1000 of the population.***

It is clear that Wales has a lot of work to do, if it wants to seriously engage Welsh communities in the fight against FGM.

For more information, see

“No orders made to protect Welsh girls at risk of FGM” BBC, 19th February 2017


* See Family Court Statistics report, July to September 2015.

** See Family Court Statistics report, July to September 2016.

*** Macfarlane, A. and Dorkenoo, E. (2015) Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and Local Estimates



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A two day workshop earlier this week focused on the dangers of FGM, and Forced or Early Marriage, for girls and women; particularly when it comes to childbirth.

There was a very positive response, with many of the Traditional Birth Attendants keen for further involvement of Beyond FGM in their home villages. There was even support for the idea of a Public Abandonment Ceremony for reformed cutters. This would include some of the Traditional Birth Attendants themselves.

The position of these workers in their communities means they are ideally situated to assist in the prevention of FGM, and to help those for whom it is too late, not only in terms of their health care, but also by notifying the authorities.

As ever, working together with communities exposes the embeddedness of the practice. This week, we have heard of cases of FGM being performed even after death. 

Traditional Birth Attendants have a vital role in the response to FGM. Supporting them is a key element of Beyond FGM’s efforts.



TBA 1                 TBA 2             TBA 3



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Gender based violence comes in many forms, but during her current trip to Pokot, it has become increasing clear to Beyond FGM founder, Cath Holland, that FGM and Forced Marriage are not only symptoms of the same problem, but arise again and again as part of an interconnected set of challenges which too many young women are having to face.

These young women and girls do not have the luxury of dealing with the crimes against them as separate and discreet issues. Instead, young girls experience early forced marriage and FGM as overwhelming, messy and complex crises, which for many of us would be incomprehensible during our adult life, never mind as marginalised teenagers.

Yet there is a 15 year old girl whom Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo are extremely concerned about.

This girl was forced in to marriage, became pregnant, was subjected to cutting while pregnant, and consequently required a caesarian section to safely deliver her child.

After becoming a mother, her ‘husband’ continued to abuse her. It is believed this abuse was psychological, and it is possible it was physical also. It is little surprise that, still a child herself, she ran away.

Although taken in by a supporter of Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo, she was forced to flee again when this family feared for their own safety. Their kindness and humanity in offering her shelter was rewarded by the terror inflicted by the ‘husband’ and his gang, believing their lives were in danger. The gang is reported to have appeared, complaining about the number of cows exchanged for the marriage to take place, and making threats.

Her father told the gang to beat the girl when she is found.

It has recently been confirmed that she has been sent back to her forced marriage, and it is with deep sadness that Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo, nor anyone else, has been able to provide this 15 year old mother with sanctuary.

It is cases like these that show how desperate we are to provide such a shelter. Our current project to build a Rescue Centre/Safe House in Pokot is underway.The foundations and walls are ready but we are now appealing for donations to complete the structure and build the roof. Please go to the BUY A BRICK CAMPAIGN page, even the smallest donation will help to make a big difference to vulnerable girls who try to break for freedom, but who lack that safe haven at the end of their journey. It is too late for some. But there are many other girls who can be saved with your help.




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To mark such an important day, Cath and the team are running an awareness event in Muino, Pokot.

In this area, FGM prevalence is estimated at 100%. Finding out that today is market day, meaning that Muino will be busy, is very welcome news. Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo will be doing their best to reach out to as many people as possible. Let’s hope they are greeted with open hearts and minds.

Elsewhere today, you can find out about more about this global day of activism on our FACEBOOK page, as well as by following news and events from around the world at GUARDIAN GLOBAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO END FGM 

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Our friend and brother Mambolea has created this heartfelt song, really worth a watch:

The fight against FGM is for everyone in society, not just the women who are suffering or are at risk.

We all have a part to play