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Hilary Burrage

is a consultant sociologist. She is currently writing a book, Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: a UK perspective. This is her professional website and blog, to share thoughts on social analysis and professional practice. Previously a college Senior Lecturer, Hilary now owns a business as a consultant, researcher, writer and speaker. Community engaged, and with grounded board-level and national experience of regeneration, science, health, environmental issues, politics and culture, Hilary has worked in many contexts, from Liverpool via London to Prague. A former AFS (American Field Service) Scholar, Hilary is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Sing And Shout Against FGM: Where The Arts, Human Rights, The ‘Old Days’ And A Big UN Announcement All Came Together

October 30, 2014

14.10.29 Garden Court NoFGM event  (2)cOn 29 October 2014 Garden Court Chambers in London hosted an evening organised by Dexter Dias QC in support of FGM survivors. The sold-out event comprised drama, music and talks. I was delighted to be asked to speak – and even more so to relay the news that the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, was in Kenya to announce a global initiative with the Guardian to stop FGM. Using the arts to focus on FGM is very important too, so I have listed here the performers at our event, as well as sharing my thoughts on the ‘old days’ of FGM campaigning.

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Appreciation: Efua Dorkenoo OBE

October 23, 2014

Efua Dorkenoo The death of Efua Dorkenoo at the age of only 65 is a massive loss to the global community of those striving to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). There have been many appreciations of her written already, but here is mine, composed at their request for the Morning Star. Above my small piece I have posted links to some bigger tributes, and below it a photograph taken in 2013 with a note which Efua herself wrote on that occasion, encapsulating in just a few words her massive grasp of the issues and how to approach them.  Thank you, Efua, for everything.

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NoFGM Fringe Event At 2014 Labour Party Conference: Some Outcomes

September 26, 2014

14.09.22 NoFGM LP Fringe mtg 011aThe Make FGM History Fringe meeting (22  September) at the 2014 Labour Party Conference in Manchester brought together activists, survivors, politicians, public service professionals and others. Critical issues were examined – funding, mandatory reporting, the role of LSCBs and schools, and community cohesions amongst them – and differences in emphasis identified; but most importantly, a massive will to make progress became evident. Awareness of the horror of FGM is increasing rapidly…

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Event To Explore The Big Issues In Making FGM History

September 20, 2014

10.04.30 Liverpool Central Library 'rose' 094aThe event (see here) alongside the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, on Monday 22 September 2014 (9.15-11.30am), aims to bring together policy developers, professionals and, most importantly, those with direct experience of FGM.  Discussions will focus on the big questions as yet not fully resolved, hopefully exploring the differences in perspective between the different parties involved in Making FGM History in the UK. What follows is an article I wrote for the Morning Star about these issues and the people who will be discussing them.

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Will The ‘Girl Summit’ Speed Ending FGM In The UK?

August 10, 2014

12.05.27-30 red blobs 280aThe Girl Summit in London on 22 July ’14 was an extraordinary event, bringing together various EndFGM campaigners and top influencers from around the world.   The evident positives have however been balanced by caveats from, e.g., Naana Otoo-Oyortey * of FORWARDUK and the participatory development expert Clementine Burnley **.  For me too there are issues, not least around where this leaves the EndFGM campaign in the UK.

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From Rage To Effective Action Against Female Genital Mutilation

July 30, 2014

12.05.05 cutting 004a

The Morning Star has today (30 July 2014) published an op-ed which it requested from me about the alleged threat to impose female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls and young women in ISIS-controlled northern Iraq.  It is always difficult to write about topics which horrify and anger in equal measure – sadly, there are far too many such global examples right now – but I managed to find some words to articulate what many of us may be feeling about the rumoured mass enforcement of FGM, and to suggest a few positive ways forward.

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Schools Must Safeguard Girls From FGM; But How?

July 26, 2014

11.04.19 learning equipment 002aa (2)

Simply Child Safe, a new publication edited by Denise Fergus (mother of murdered toddler James Bulger), addresses current UK child safeguarding issues.  As a fellow Liverpudlian I was pleased to be asked to write about child protection and female genital mutilation (FGM) for Issue No 2 of this magazine. My message, at last it seems being heard, remains that mandatory reporting, training for all professionals in regulated activities, and proper channels for concerns, are all critical. Here’s what I wrote:

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