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Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective – One Year On (Contents And Reviews)

October 28, 2016

My first book, Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective  (Ashgate/Routledge, Oct. 2015) was published one year ago today. It was at last available in bookshops and on the websites for all to access and read.

For the past half decade I had been trying to understand, and compose text to explain, the massive complexities of FGM and the many efforts to make it history in different parts of the world.

I am thrilled now to have received such encouraging reviews and a global award for my books, and I hope my work will help as we all strive to #EndFGM.

Here are some details of my book’s contents and (below) of those reviews:

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective

A book about pathways to eradicating FGM in the UK & globally

[The weblink with each Chapter below will take you to a much more detailed list of contents, and to an invitation to comment / add your own information on the given topic.]

*List of Figures
*About the Author  [full text]
*Preface and Acknowledgements  [full text]


1   Demography and Epidemiology of FGM

2   Socio-economics Analysis

3   Perceptions and Beliefs Over Time

4   Men, Women and Power

5   Clinical Issues

6   Legislation and Governance

7   Prevention – Formal strategies

8   Prevention – Communities

9   Prevention – Information and Education

10 Prevention – Social Services and Multi-agency Work

11  UK Politics and the Media

12  Will FGM in the UK be Eradicated in a Decade?

*Further Reading  [full listing of suggested texts – please add more if you wish]
*Multimedia Resources  [full listing of resources – please add more if you wish]
*Organisations  [full listing of organisations – please add more if you wish]
*Appendix: Feminist Statement on the Naming and Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation [text]

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015) is available in paperback, hardback and e-format from the publisher or from, and from high street and university booksellers.

Read extracts from the book on the publisher’s website HERE


Reviews of the book follow, below…

Hilary’s book Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation was launched on 4 November 2015 at The Guardian offices in London (introductory talk here) and six months later, on 10 May 2016, both her books on FGM (see below) were presented at a reception hosted by the Norwegian Embassy for the Inter-African Committee FGM Conference at the United Nations in Geneva.
In October 2016 Hilary was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation at a Washington DC, USA Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation event, for her two books: Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (2015) and Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (2016).


“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 deal with FGM – to professionals and all people of conscience.”Tobe Levin von Gleichen, Harvard University, USA and University of Oxford, UK


If you have the slightest or greatest interest in the subject of Female Genital Mutilation (commonly known as “FGM”) I highly recommend this book. The author, an active anti-FGM advocate and activist for several decades is an expert on this topic, and recognized and respected around the world as such. Hilary addresses and quantifies every reason why FGM should, and hopefully will, be eradicated within a decade. This is the best book ever written about the sensitive subject of FGM, a very harmful practice that affects girls and women not only in third world countries around the world, but also in the UK, USA, Australia and Europe. Six thousand (6,000) girls around the world are mutilated every single day. Thank you, Hilary, for writing this excellent book!”
 Sayydah Garrett, Pastoralist Child Foundation  (Amazon *****)


“The standpoint of the book is that FGM must be condemned but that to end it we must understand it fully. It therefore rejects cultural relativism but it also reaches out for cultural understanding. This is vitally important book for all who are concerned with this important area of child protection.” – Dr Steve Watkins, Director of Public Health for Stockport


“….. not a comfortable read – but a MUST
This book should become a standard for everyone who is seriously and/or professionally interested in the subject and in contributing to its end. Hilary Burrage achieved her goal in facilitating the understanding of FGM and its context, the comprehension of its complexity and the difficulties in ending it. The book gives ideas regarding the existing approaches and goes beyond in triggering the development of alternatives/modifications. The author managed to consider every crucial aspect there is. I can completely confirm Tobe Levin’s foreword, especially calling this book a “guide” that is “scholarly yet accessible”, regarding the large target group of readers with various educational and cultural background.

This book is primarily not written for those in favour of FGM, but they should read it with the same attention FGM opponents are studying their reasoning. It might facilitate the dialogue. Hilary Burrage’s intention is clearly to contribute to end FGM, based on at least two essential factors well described in the book: Firstly, members of performing communities themselves are actively trying to end the practice since decades, leading to the second which is a legislation against FGM in many countries including those where FGM originally occurs, making it a crime. She discusses the means to support the efforts to end FGM on the grounds of a socio-economic analysis, shedding light on the various preventive approaches (with their difficulties) on national and international level, the legal aspects (especially in the UK) and their sometimes controversial consequences, and last but not least the social, medical and psychological care for women and girls with FGM.
Each chapter of the book is an invitation to open discussion and further reasoning; the author prepared an online platform for this [here].
My sincere congratulations to Hilary Burrage for her achievement with this groundbreaking book, and my serious gratitude in the name of all those who are working towards the end of FGM and will benefit from her sophisticated work.” Holger Postulart, Global Alliance Against Female Genital Mutilation (Amazon *****)


It also contains very useful information at the end on further reading….
Hilary Burrage’s book is the pre-eminent ‘state of the field’ book on FGM. Although the beginning and end points are located in the UK, her scope is global, and anyone, anywhere, with a practical or theoretical concern about this vile practice will find much of value in it. It also contains very useful information at the end on further reading, multimedia resources, and organisations active in the field. Her chapter headings give a good idea about the wide scope of the book: Demography and Epidemiology; Socioeconomic analysis; Perceptions and Beliefs over Time; Men, Women and Power; Clinical Issues; Legislation and Governance. These are followed by substantial chapters on the book’s ‘mission’ – the eradication/prevention of FGM. She ends with a key question: Will FGM in the UK be eradicated in a decade? This neatly brings together the various strands of the earlier chapters. FGM as a political and community health issue is gaining some leverage at the moment, though Hilary Burrage would argue not enough, and not quickly enough. Her book plays a valuable role in this. I highly recommend it.”
Ronald Stewart (Amazon *****)
 ~ ~ ~

Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Hilary Burrage, Ashgate / Routledge 2015).   Full contents and reviews   HERE.

FEMALE MUTILATION: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation  (Hilary Burrage, New Holland Publishers 2016).   Full contents and reviews   HERE.



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

Details of NHS Specialist Services for FGM here.

More info and posts on FGM here.

Activists, service providers and researchers may like to join the LinkedIn group Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): Information, reports and research, which has several hundred members from around the world.

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

Email contact: via Hilary


[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.]


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, 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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