Hilary Burrage is the author of two books on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015) is a book about pathways to eradicating FGM in the UK and a detailed handbook-textbook which covers global and historic/political issues from a socio-economic as well as educational, legal and medical aspects. There is an accompanying website for updates and a Twitter account [available from the publisher; or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com (inc. e-format) and high street booksellers].
Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, 2016) comprises 70+ ‘narratives’ from survivors, family and community members, activists and professionals in two dozen countries, five continents, also with an accompanying website to bring all the contributors together, and a Twitter handle [from the Guardian bookshop); or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com, or high street booksellers].
Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation was launched on 4 November 2015 at The Guardian offices in London (introductory talk here) and both books were presented at a reception hosted by the Norwegian Embassy for the Inter-African Committee FGM Conference at the United Nations in Geneva, on 10 May 2016.
Reviews of Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation:
> Hilary Burrage has written the most definitive book ever on FGM. An invaluable tool to help eradicate it worldwide. A personal triumph. (The Guardian)
> … Outraged at ineffective child protection, Burrage provides a comprehensive, scholarly yet accessible guide – the first ethically correct textbook in the world about FGM and among the best ever – to professionals and all people of conscience. (Tobe Levin von Gleichen, Harvard and Oxford Universities)
> The best book ever written about the sensitive subject of FGM : Amazon.com ***** (Sayydah Garrett, Pastoralist Child Foundation)
Hilary is a consultant sociologist and journalist. This is Hilary's professional website, to share thoughts on sociological analysis, social policy and good practice.
The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a USA-based ‘501c3 nonprofit’ organization dedicated to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence. You can imagine therefore how thrilled I am that in just two months’ time, on 15 October, I shall be with them, alongside friends and colleagues, in Washington DC on the Walk to End FGM (details below), when I am to receive a certificate of recognition for my two books on female genital mutilation.
Tonight I chaired a debate about FGM at Rivington Place, London, where documentary photographer Aida Silvestri has an exhibition, Unsterile Clinic, curated by Renee Mussai of Autograph ABP. The topic was Health, Advocacy and Art: A Panel Discussion on Ending FGM with, as speakers, Aida herself, plus Deqa Dirie, Aissa Edon, Emma Boyd, Dianna Nammi and, responding from the audience, Hoda Ali. The event, organised by Ali Eisa, illuminated both what people agreed about FGM, advocacy and art, and what they did not.
I was delighted to respond to the AHA Foundation’s invitation to be interviewed for their newsletter. Founded by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, herself a survivor of female genital mutilation, the Foundation has made tremendous moves towards the eradication of FGM and other gendered human rights abuses.
The AHA Foundation is currently sponsoring an e-petition to Demand a National Action Plan to Fight Honor Violence – a requirement at the core of what must be secured in every country if we are to progress in making FGM and other gendered violence history.
Today I attended two meetings on FGM in Westminster. One was as a member of the informal FGM group which Sarah Champion MP convenes, and the other was as an observer at the Home Affairs Select Committee FGM Roundtable Discussion. Some general issues come up regularly: the need for an FGM National Action Plan, questions about mandatory reporting, the effectiveness of the multi-agency guidelines. To these we should add broadening FGM to include other child / gendered abuse, using the Public Health approach and, vitally, recognizing human rights.
The Through the Eyes of Nigerian Artists Confronting Female Genital Mutilation exhibition has been shown many times in Germany; and now the curator, Dr Tobe Levin, has also arranged two evenings of events in Oxford UK. In my contribution I spoke about art as activism, and on prospects for developing a greater public concern to achieve eradication – only when public pressure is applied to high levels of governance will real progress be made. These are my thoughts on art and advocacy:
Policing Issues In Regard To Female Genital Mutilation (And Other Harmful Traditional Practices) In The UK
The British Labour Party Home Affairs policy commission is currently investigating the topic of police reform. I was invited to make a written submission on how I think the police could improve their response to victims of FGM or those who are at risk of becoming victims.
What follows comprises my draft submission – but I am acutely aware there is still much work to do on this difficult topic. I hope my submission will help the discussion along. Your thoughts are also very welcome.
Please note: This is a DRAFT document. Comments and queries are very welcome via the response box at the end of this piece. Thank you.
On 10 and 11 May 2016 I attended the Inter-African Committee conference on FGM at the United Nations in Geneva, where I gave a paper. It was a great honour to be invited to present both my books at the IAC conference reception, hosted by HE Steffen Kongstad of the Norwegian Embassy; and I was thrilled that Ambassador Kongstad also very generously arranged to give copies of these books to the guests who joined us. Here’s my short speech given at this, for me unforgettable, event.
Some photographs of the full event follow below, after this text of my talk about the books.