Racism fear puts 20,000 girls and women at risk of genital mutilation


Up to 20,000 girls and women living in Britain are at risk of genital mutilation because officials are scared of appearing to be racists.

The people who should be protecting them are afraid of criticising other cultures, the International Development Select Committee said.

MPs said Britain’s attempts to end sexual violence and mutilation abroad is being undermined by the failure to tackle the problem here.

Female genital mutilation is often carried out on children without anaesthetic and takes place in Britain, parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

It is often done to deny women sexual pleasure.

‘This undermines our own credibility and the programmes we fund to stamp out female genital mutilation in countries like Somalia,’ committee chairman Sir Malcolm Bruce said.

‘For us to meet the goal to eradicate this brutal practice within a generation, the UK government must also act on this issue in the UK.’

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