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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 [book available from the publisher; or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com (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 [book available 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

Reviews of Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation:
> This is the essential companion volume to Hilary Burrage's 'Eradicating Female Mutilation'. While the latter provides a broad and deep perspective on the practice of FGM, this book gives space for the voices of victims and practitioners in the field. The author is to be commended for bringing together such a wide range of personal narratives... to consign a vile abuse of women to the dustbin of history. You will not fail to be engaged... by these accounts, even though some are harrowing. "Female Mutilation' is a landmark contribution to the literature on FGM.: Amazon ***** (Ron Stewart and another reader)

Hilary is a consultant sociologist and journalist. This is Hilary's professional website, to share thoughts on sociological analysis, social policy and good practice.

Economics Is Why FGM Persists (Oxford Seminar On The Elephants In The Room)

November 23, 2017

17 November 2017: A workshop entitled Elephants in the Room: Hurdles – and Hope – for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) challenged us to consider some ‘elephants in the room’ in how we think about that particular form of gendered physical and psychological abuse.  The event, co-sponsored by the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, and the UnCUT/VOICES Press, enabled those present to share thoughts on aspects of FGM which may be both blatantly obvious and difficult to discuss. My contribution, summarised below, was on the Economics of FGM.

The ‘four Es’ of Eradicating FGM are Engagement, Education, Enforcement and Economics.

But perhaps there is also a fifth ‘E’ – because in the context of this seminar Economics is the Elephant in the room….

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Three Days With Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, Washington DC, October 2017: Walk-A-Thon to #EndFGM

October 22, 2017

What an experience this visit to Washington DC turned out to be! Angela Peabody, the Founder-Director of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, made us all so warmly welcome as we met again friends and colleagues from different parts of the world, and discussed various issues with some of the leading medical and legal female genital mutilation (FGM) experts in the USA. And we saw the 2017 GWPF nominees receive their awards for outstanding service to end that cruel and harmful traditional practice.

My (post-event) thoughts on what we discussed follow, with a focus on

*Medical ‘vs’ legal understandings
*Male ‘vs’ female circumcision (MGM and FGM) and human rights / bodily integrity
*Patriarchy incarnate, eg FGM and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)
*Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
*Data on FGM prevalence
*Surgical and other treatment and support for FGM survivors
*’Market segmentation’ to maximise the impact of #EndFGM programmes.

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Letter To The Guardian On FGM And Girls’ Education

October 7, 2017

I was pleased to have a letter published today in the main Guardian, and yesterday in Society Guardian, in response to an article of 4 October.
The original piece, supported by Opportunity International UK and entitled ‘Educating girls: the key to tackling poverty‘, was a report on a Guardian Roundtable discussion which considered several obstacles to girls’ education including taboos around menstruation and child marriage, but did not mention FGM.
Here is what I wrote:

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Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Awardees 2015-2017

September 1, 2017

The 2017 Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) Walk-A-Thon to End FGM is in Washington DC on Saturday 21 October.  (Register here.) In 2016 I was thrilled to be made an GWPF Awardee, and in 2017 perhaps more delighted still by an invitation to join the newly established on-going GWPF Awards Committee.  It was incredibly difficult to select our nominations in each of the awarding categories, but listed below are those eventually named for 2017, along with the names of 2015 and 2016 Awardees.

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Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Requires Support For Community Activists

July 18, 2017

Today I published a piece in the Huffington Post entitled The ‘Cuts’ And ‘Cutting’ – And So Female Genital Mutilation Continues In The UK.  The eradication of FGM is critically dependent not only on the skills and leverage of the leading organisations in the field, but also on the goodwill and support of activists in their communities.  Often these activists report that their work is not resourced and that they are therefore unable to deliver the #EndFGM message as they would wish – a matter of especial importance when ‘vacation cutting’ is about to start.

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FGM (Khatna / Khafz) Persists In Bohra India – UK Politicians Can Help To Stop It

June 28, 2017

The practice of female genital mutilation in India remains little known – not least because the Bohra community which continues with it insists on silence about what they call ‘Khatna’ (male or female ‘circumcision’) or ‘Khafz’ (explicitly the female version). But slowly this harmful traditional practice, like early ‘marriage’ in wider Indian society, is being exposed; and now some outspoken Bohra women want the international community to support their #EndFGM demands.
British politicians can add considerable weight to this campaign.

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Brussels Places Research On Female Genital Mutilation Centre-Stage

June 10, 2017

The 2nd International Academic Seminar on FGM was an excellent opportunity to exchange information, meet new colleagues and consolidate old friendships.  For these reasons alone attendance was well worthwhile, but for me this two day meeting on 8 and 9 June 2017 also prompted afreshsome considerations around the fundamentals of the challenge to #EndFGM.   And so I share below some notes on the FGM knowledge gaps and praxis issues with which I think we are all confronted.  Your thoughts on my provisional analysis will be warmly welcomed.

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