Our work on FGM
FGM affects more than 125 million women and girls around the world.
As a form of gender based violence, fear of FGM can be a reason why women or families flee their countries of origin and seek refugee protection in the UK.
Although FGM is not an issue that solely impacts asylum seeking and refugee communities, Scottish Refugee Council works with other agencies to increase awareness of the practice and improve gender sensitivity within the Home Office and within the asylum system in the UK.
We have conducted research into FGM in Scotland and our study provides a baseline of information to be used to better understand where resources are required to begin to address this issue in Scotland. Our research also explores best practice approaches to preventing and responding to the practice.
What needs to be done in Scotland to tackle FGM and support people affected by it?
FGM is a complex issue with no one simple solution to eradicating the practice. We believe that a sensitive and multifaceted approach is needed and that any work to tackle FGM must be done in partnership with communities affected, engaging with men, women and girls in order to understand, inform, challenge and find solutions.
At the same time a robust legal framework is essential. As with other forms of violence against women and girls, prosecuting those who perpetrate abuse helps to send a strong message that the state will not tolerate gender based violence in Scotland or the UK.
Training, education and openness to tackle FGM are all essential.
Support, services and referral pathways for women living in Scotland who are survivors of FGM should be strengthened. Information should be made more widely available to everyone who is working to support women who may have suffered FGM.