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.
USA Perspectives And Terminologies Re: Female And Male Genital ‘Mutilation’, ‘Circumcision’ Or ‘Cutting’?
A question posted on Quora asks: Why does the USA call female circumcision ‘female genital mutilation’ when male circumcision is widespread in the country? Implicit here are also I think a number of other enquiries: are FGM and MGM (male genital mutilation / circumcision) ‘the same’? Is MGM acceptable because it’s still relatively widespread in the USA? And maybe also, what is the correct terminology for these harmful traditional practices? In my view both FGM and MGM are human rights issues which must be confronted and stopped.
It’s obvious that ending violence against women and girls requires the involvement of us all, men and women alike.
This is a piece on the subject which I’ve just published in Huffington Post, reminding readers that December has seen both the annual #16Days global initiative against gendered violence and, tragically, also in some parts of the world the end-of-year female genital mutilation (FGM) ‘cutting season’.
Many men, like the torchbearers mentioned below, are already committed to making this harm history, but there’s still a way to go…
The FGM Summit in Washington DC was held over the first two days of December 2016, providing for the first time in the USA an opportunity for leading activists and strategists against female genital mutilation from across the world to meet and consider both progress and remaining challenges. I was pleased to be amongst those attending. Good practice was interrogated and friendships and collaborations consolidated, as we pondered both the commonalities which FGM presents, and the very different ways in which, variously, eradication is approached.
The Third ‘E’ Of Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: Enforcement (And The Role Of Public Health?)
I was delighted to be invited to talk at the Launch of the Greater Manchester FGM Strategy today (1 December). Most unfortunately however, the fates intervened and I’ve found myself travelling to Washington DC for the global FGM Summit the self-same day. But, my talk already written, I can at least share the ideas I had worked on for the Launch. Particularly, I wanted to raise some issues around supporting those in regulated activity who must report FGM, FGM restoration and repair, leadership and accountability, human rights … and Public Health.
It’s White Ribbon Day, when the focus is on male violence against women and girls. In the words of White Ribbon UK :
‘This is not and never has been a “women’s issue”… We address men directly – so they understand the scale of the problem, and become part of the solution, alongside women.’
I’ve been invited to speak in support of White Ribbon day at the SE Region TUC Women’s Rights Committee event at Congress House. Here’s what I shall say:
The incidence of female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS, sometimes referred to as labiaplasty, although this is not the only procedure) is thought to be increasing, and this type of surgery continues to cause concern. Is it in fact licensed female genital mutilation (FGM), as some allege – in which case it is illegal? And is it ever permissible in juveniles? Is it hypocritical and ‘racially’ biased?What follows is my small contribution to the debate which continues in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and elsewhere in the legal and medical literature.
The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Walk-A-Thon to End FGM, in Washington DC on 15 October 2016, brought together many activists from around the world – an exciting and truly inspiring experience, which I describe in more detail here.
I was privileged to attend the event as an Awardee (for my books) and I took the opportunity to deliver a very simple message: If we are serious about eradicating FGM we will call is as it is, Female Genital Mutilation. Here is the text of my brief address: