Hilary Burrage is the author of two books on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
Eradicating 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 [available from the publisher; or from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com (inc. e-format) and high street booksellers].
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 [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)
Hilary is a consultant sociologist and journalist. This is Hilary's professional website, to share thoughts on sociological analysis, social policy and good practice.
The third Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Walk to End FGM, in Washington DC on 15 October 2016 – a beautifully sunny Saturday afternoon – brought together people from around the world, some of us already friends, others long-time connections meeting face-to-face for the first time, and others quickly to become new friends. For all this and much more we must thank Angela Peabody, the inspiration and mover behind the scenes of this globally significant and very special event.
As 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 Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a USA-based ‘501c3 nonprofit’ organization dedicated to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence. You can imagine therefore how thrilled I am that in just two months’ time, on 15 October, I shall be with them, alongside friends and colleagues, in Washington DC on the Walk to End FGM (details below), when I am to receive a certificate of recognition for my two books on female genital mutilation.
Tonight I chaired a debate about FGM at Rivington Place, London, where documentary photographer Aida Silvestri has an exhibition, Unsterile Clinic, curated by Renee Mussai of Autograph ABP. The topic was Health, Advocacy and Art: A Panel Discussion on Ending FGM with, as speakers, Aida herself, plus Deqa Dirie, Aissa Edon, Emma Boyd, Dianna Nammi and, responding from the audience, Hoda Ali. The event, organised by Ali Eisa, illuminated both what people agreed about FGM, advocacy and art, and what they didn’t.
I 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.
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.
The Through the Eyes of Nigerian Artists Confronting Female Genital Mutilation exhibition has been shown many times in Germany; and now the curator, Dr Tobe Levin, has also arranged two evenings of events in Oxford UK. In my contribution I spoke about art as activism, and on prospects for developing a greater public concern to achieve eradication – only when public pressure is applied to high levels of governance will real progress be made. These are my thoughts on art and advocacy: