Responding to research on male attitudes to female genital mutilation (FGM) undertaken by GAMS Belgium, Forward in the UK, the HIMILO Foundation and the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, UKIP’s spokesman for Women and Equalities Margot Parker MEP said: “This is important information and the findings make clear how important full engagement with both genders is necessary if we are to end the appalling and barbaric practice of FGM.
“As the report states: 137,000 women and girls in the UK live with the consequences of FGM, almost all from the Middle East and Africa. There is no excuse for allowing this practice to continue – and it is happening every day. On average the NHS deals with 100 new cases every week.
“Most infuriating is that there has not been a single prosecution relating to FGM in the UK despite specific laws being on the books for years.
Mrs Parker welcomed the focus on communication and education of both genders from cultures where the practice of FGM is commonplace.
“The report quite rightly states that FGM has nothing at all to do with religion, despite many Muslim men (23% according to the report) from these cultures thinking it does. We need to focus efforts on communicating this to men within susceptible immigrant communities.
“But we also need to make a concerted effort to let women and girls in vulnerable communities know their legal protections and rights under British law. If we have to go door to door, school to school, mosque to mosque to accomplish this, we should.
“Combined with the recent Casey Review on opportunities and inequality, it is clear we need to be honest, bold and assertive to put an end to FGM in the UK – and ambitious in global efforts to stamp out the practice.
“We cannot afford to let cultural sensitivities, political correctness or community intransigence to turn us from fighting FGM and other cultural symbols of abusive male dominance, female de-sexualisation and outright de-humanisation of women.”