Croydon College students campaign for FGM charter

By - Monday 26th May, 2014

Christina Ramsey, with the aid of Croydon College Students Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Group will lead a conference on FGM at Croydon College on the 4th of June. The conference aims to promote discussion on the issue, will include representation from a variety of national charities, and hopes to produce a charter on FGM for the borough of Croydon.

Christina Ramsay; set to lead the conference on Female Genital Mutilation at Croydon College on 4th of June. Image by Empra.

Release begins:

An intern at Croydon College will be at the forefront of a unique conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) next month. Featuring speeches by national campaigners including UNICEF UK and AMNESTY as well as smaller charities, health professionals and institution leaders from the borough of Croydon, the conference will be staged on 4th June at the college.

Organised with the help of Croydon College’s students’ FGM Group, intern Christina Ramsay will lead the conference with the aim of highlighting the impact on victims, provoking debate and educating health, education and other professionals about FGM.

The conference will, for the first time, give people from across the borough the chance to get together and discuss the wider implications of FGM as well as creating a ‘Charter’ for the borough.

Christina, who is 25, and an ex Croydon College student, believes Croydon is well placed to provide the country’s first ‘safe haven’ for those at risk.

Currently studying International Relations at Queen Mary’s University (QMU) Christina explained: “I have friends who are victims of FGM, and there are students at this college who have endured the process”.

“When I investigated FGM and found out exactly what it entails, I was horrified. Medical dictionaries describe the process as ‘female circumcision’, but that phrase does not adequately explain the shocking reality of the process at all”.

FGM involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other non-medical injury to the female genital organs. It’s carried out as a cultural or religious practice, but is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

In the UK, there are around 24,000 young girls at risk of FGM and over 80,000 women living with the consequences of it – according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Christina said: “We have a lot of Human Rights in this country, but many are just ‘gathering dust on a shelf, and are not enforced. FGM is illegal in the UK and unqualified back-street practitioners are profiting from performing FGM. Generally, girls under the age of 15 are subjected to the practice and December is widely understood to be the ‘cutting season’ in Kenya”.

Di Layzelle, Head of Student Life at Croydon College said: “It’s fantastic that Christina has lead the FGM Group, and this conference. She is a very inspiring woman, a role model for others and she’s raising awareness not just about FGM, but about gender bias and inequality, too”.

Release ends.



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