Skip to content

Hilary Burrage's website comprises mostly her papers and articles about patriarchy, (gendered) harmful practices and, specifically, female genital mutilation / FGM.

To select particular topics in any area please go to the Word Cloud below on your right.
(Or just scroll down here for recent posts....)

Hilary is the author of two books on her chosen themes:

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 around the world, 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 her professional website, to share thoughts on sociological analysis, social policy and good practice, especially in relation to female genital mutilation (FGM), child abuse, gendered violence and patriarchy. Hilary lives in London.

Progress Towards Tackling FGM In The UK Is Severely Compromised By Brexit

February 6, 2019

Today (6 February) is the annual Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, a day when people around the world declare once again their commitment to stopping this cruel traditional practice. The UK has been amongst those leading the way in FGM eradication, but sadly there is almost no aspect of British life on which Brexit – leaving the European Union – would not impinge.
This post, written for the Analysis pages of The UK in a Changing World website, examines some serious difficulties which may arise for UK-led work to end FGM, if Brexit goes forward.

Read more…

6 February: ‘Zero Tolerance Of FGM’ Day In Britain And World-Wide.

February 6, 2019

On 6 February 2003 the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, made the official declaration of Zero Tolerance for FGM during an event by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC). That date is now marked annually as we renew our determination to make FGM history;  and much has indeed been achieved – many of us know far more about FGM now than then – but in the UK as much as anywhere there remains a great deal to be done before we can start to hope our task is accomplished. These are some thoughts about progress in Britain which I wrote for the Morning Star today:

Read more…

What Can I Do To Stop FGM?… Some Practical Suggestions For Activists In The U.K.

January 30, 2019

I’ve been asked to make a short presentation at the Symposium to End FGM in Britain held at 55 Tufton Street, London on 31 January 2019.  My allocated task is to present some practical suggestions about how activists can take things forward; and I have interpreted this in a general way, rather than as a clinician, lawyer or someone in any other specific position.

These are my first thoughts, seeking to find something for everyone who would like to join us in making FGM very firmly history.

Read more…

#EndFGM Campaigners And Intactivists Against Male Circumcision (MGM) Have Many Concerns In Common

November 11, 2018

Activists against female genital mutilation often insist FGM must not be called ‘female circumcision’; and it’s not, in formal dialogue, ‘cutting’, either. I agree with them. As the WHO, UNFPA, IAC, the Bamako Declaration and others such as the authors (me included) of the Statement on FGM insist, FGM is quite simply ‘Mutilation’.
But the idea that FGM is ‘worse’ than ‘male circumcision’ (MGM) is not very helpful.  There is no need for competition as we seek to prevent harm to either gender.  FGM and MGM are both issues of child protection and human rights. Mutual support and collaboration will take us further, more quickly.

Read more…

Brexit, Youth And Media: Decelerating The Movement To End FGM?

October 19, 2018

18.10.19 Oxford FGM event (6)Friday 19 October 2018 saw us at another Oxford University International Gender Studies Centre / UnCUT/VOICES Press event considering approaches to eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM), this time with a focus on media and youth.  One theme arising throughout the day was the need for greater evaluation of different ways to attempt eradication, but my contribution was more specific: I asked what is known about the impact which Brexit (the UK leaving the European Union) would have – if it happens – on work to end FGM?

I have been researching this question – to which I shall return here again when my enquiries are complete – for a while, but one illuminating response arrived in my Inbox just as I was travelling to Kellogg College in Oxford. It was this, from Julie Ward MEP, that we discussed in my session.

Read more…

Bullet Hole: A Play About What Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] Can Do To Your Mind

October 12, 2018

Art and performance are powerful ways to convey messages on difficult topics.  Bullet Hole, a play by Gloria Williams about the circumstances in which three different London-based women who have had FGM find themselves, is a welcome addition to this genre. The play leaves no-one in any doubt that FGM has long-lasting and cruel outcomes, both physically and psychologically; but the message is also that with support women can move on.  The question is, how often is such support available? And what are we doing anyway, to stop FGM?

Bullet Hole, presented by Naiad Productions, is showing from 2 – 27 October 2018, at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.  The director is Lara Genovese, and the cast are Gloria Williams, Doreene Blackstock  and Anni Domingo.

After the performance on Wednesday 10 October a number of us joined the audience for a panel discussion:

Read more…

In The Name Of Your Daughter (An #EndFGM Film About Safe Houses)

October 6, 2018

The Raindance Film Festival is an important event in the London arts diary.  Yesterday (5 October 2018) we saw one of this year’s featured films: In The Name Of Your Daughter, a documentary about saving young girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) via a ‘safe house’, a place to which likely victims of this crime can flee, or are taken, for protection during the ‘cutting season’. Especially important here is how trust and understanding about FGM must be established to rebuild connection between these girls and their families and communities. Be sure to see it.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: