Skip to content

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 / (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 /, 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

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.

Thinking About Ethics In Tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

May 19, 2017

017 (2)It was good to be invited today to attend a session of the RinGs (Research in Gender and Ethics: Building stronger health systems) meeting at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  The topic addressed by a diverse panel of experts was Gender and Ethics in Health System Research Policy and Practice.  Discussion across a broad spectrum of experience and perspectives set me thinking more deeply about what ‘being ethical’ means in the context of action and research to end female genital mutilation.  But I certainly don’t have all the answers….

Read more…

Talking About FGM: The Welsh Obstetrics And Gynaecology Society Meeting

March 31, 2017

My invitation to speak at the Welsh Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society Meeting in Llandudno today was impetus enough to look again at issues around female genital mutilation (FGM) specifically from the perspectives of clinical medicine.  I prepared a one-sheet briefing for those attending. The notes below are an annotated version of the thoughts I shared – ending as ever with a plea for more direct engagement by Public Health and the School Medical Service in support of those clinicians (eg Obs/Gynaes) on the frontline of efforts to end this epidemic of ‘traditional’ criminal harm.

Read more…

Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, March 2016)

March 1, 2017

Just one year ago today my second book on female genital mutilation (FGM) was published. Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation offers more than 70 case studies from people in two dozen countries across five continents. Some narrators are FGM survivors, some community activists, and some professionals who bring a particular focus on FGM to their work in medicine, law, education, journalism etc. Their stories differ widely, but all share a determination to make FGM history.

Details of the book and a number of reader reviews follow below:

Read more…

USA Perspectives And Terminologies Re: Female And Male Genital ‘Mutilation’, ‘Circumcision’ Or ‘Cutting’?

February 17, 2017

cuttingA 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.

Read more…

The ‘Cutting Season’: To End FGM (And Other Violence Against Women) We Need The Men On-Side

December 29, 2016

STOP FGMIt’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…

Read more…

First U.S. FGM Summit, Washington DC, December 1st and 2nd, 2016

December 2, 2016

img_2703-4The 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.

Read more…

The Third ‘E’ Of Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: Enforcement (And The Role Of Public Health?)

December 1, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was delighted to be invited to talk at the Launch of the Greater Manchester FGM Strategy today (1 December ’16). 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.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: