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Hilary Burrage is the author of two books on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):

15.07.14 FGM Book1 jacket jpegEradicating 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.  [£25.00 paperback / £70.00 hardback from the publisher; or from / (inc. e-format) and high street booksellers]

16.01.22 Female Mutilation book pic (3)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.  [£14.99 (£11.99, Guardian bookshop); or from /, 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 : ***** (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.

My Interview With The AHA Foundation: ‘Fighting To Stop FGM In The UK’

July 20, 2016

16.07.20 AHAFoundation logo 11066787_10152884962229773_244819929362355951_nI 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.

Read more…

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): The View From Westminster?

July 7, 2016

IMG_0812 (2)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.

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Policing Issues In Regard To Female Genital Mutilation (And Other Harmful Traditional Practices) In The UK

June 8, 2016

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.

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UN Geneva: My Book(s) Launch At The IAC Conference On FGM

May 12, 2016

16.05.10 Geneva + my book launch (82)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.

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The 4 ‘E’s Of FGM Eradication – My Paper On The Economics Of FGM, At The UN Geneva IAC Meeting

May 12, 2016

16.05.12 IAC FGM Geneva Kaillie IMG_ (43)The Inter-African Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices affecting Women and Girls (the IAC) held an International Conference to End FGM at the United Nations in Geneva on 10 and 11 May 2016. The theme was ‘From Goals to Action: Working Together to Bridge Gaps‘. I spoke on the Economics of FGM. My main point? … that ending FGM will be achieved most quickly if we fully engage economic analysis of the wider contexts and use that analysis to inform Public Health budgets and strategies, with top-level leaders who accept direct accountability for delivery.

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Writing About FGM Online: What Are The Critical Issues?

May 3, 2016

P1100621 (2)It was good to be invited to contribute to The Body Issue (17) of the online magazine Her Edit. The brief was to write an article about FGM, explaining why it continues, and what can be done to stop it.  I chose to emphasise the frequent lack of understanding in practising communities about the harm of FGM, and the requirement on us all to keep the issues in the public mind. Below is my article, published by Her Edit under the heading ‘FGM: Patriarchy incarnate‘.  What would others have elected to share with new readers about this tragic abuse of human rights?

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Female Genital Mutilation Is Big Business

April 13, 2016

The Guardian published my article on the economics of female genital mutilation (FGM) today, 13 April 2016.
Entitled FGM: a costly, organised crime against women and girls, the article is an attempt to address some of the issues, especially the financial ones, which continue to make the eradication of FGM so difficult, whilst also wasting precious human and economic resources.

This is a more detailed version of  my Guardian piece:

Read more…


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