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My Books Event With Blackwells At Labour Party Annual Conference

September 27, 2016

16-09-27-fgm-book-signing-labour-confc-blackwells-hilary-img_2048-10As on previous occasions, Blackwells had a bookstall at the Labour Party Annual Conference, this year in Liverpool. It was good to join them for a book-signing session today, and the event gave me an opportunity to talk with a lot of people about issues around FGM (there are still many who are rather vague about how to respond). Amongst those who later joined me for a chat were my own MP, Louise Ellman, Luciana Berger MP and Theresa Griffin MEP, plus David Bartlett, the CEO of White Ribbon UK.

The one thing which struck me as I talked with many people in the exhibition hall was that they all knew FGM is something which must be stopped, but some were even hazy about what the letters mean (‘female genital mutilation’). Even more hazy were the ideas about what to do to prevent FGM.

Our next and very important task will be to emphasise the roles we can all play in eradicating FGM.  In taking that message forward good bookshops such as Blackwells, and my friends and colleagues in politics and the voluntary organisations all play a vital part.


Hilary with Theresa Griffin MEP


with David Bartlett, CEO of  WhiteRibbon UK 


with Louise Ellman MP and Luciana Berger MP


[NB The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, which has a primary focus on FGM, is clear that in formal discourse any term other than ‘mutilation’ concedes damagingly to the cultural relativists – though the terms employed may of necessity vary in informal discussion with those who by tradition use alternative vocabulary. See the Feminist Statement on the Naming and Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation,  The Bamako Declaration: Female Genital Mutilation Terminology and the debate about Anthr/Apologists on this website.]

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Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation

For more detail and discussion of female genital mutilation please see my textbook, which considers in some detail the situation globally, but also explores the issues relating specifically to Western nations:  Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015). My second book, Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, 2016), contains narrative ‘stories’ (case studies) from about seventy people across five continents who have experienced FGM, either as survivors and/or as campaigners and activists against this harmful traditional practice.



There is a free FGM hotline for anyone in the UK: 0800 028 3550, or

The (free) #NoFGM Daily News carries reports of all items shared on Twitter that day about FGM – brings many organisations and developments into focus.

Also available to follow at no cost or obligation is the #NoFGM_USA Daily News.

Twitter accounts:@NoFGM_UK  @NoFGMBookUK @FemaleMutlnBook  @FGMStatement  @NoFGM_USA @NoFGM_Kenya  @NoFGM_France  @GuardianEndFGM [tag for all: #NoFGM] and @StopMGM.

Facebook page: #NoFGM – a crime against humanity

More info on FGM here. Email contact: via Hilary


This article concerns approaches to the eradication specifically of FGM.  I am also categorically opposed to MGM, but that is not the focus of this particular piece.

Anyone wishing to offer additional comment on more general considerations around infant and juvenile genital mutilation is asked please to do so on the relevant dedicated thread, originally developed in June 2012:

The Other FGM Debate: Is Male Circumcision (MGM) Also Child Abuse?

Pending further notice (of a planned new blog, sometime after February 2016), discussion of the general issues re M/FGM will not be published unless they are posted on this dedicated page.  Thanks.

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