5 things you may not have known about FGM and CEFM and how you can help

5 things you may not have known about FGM and CEFM and how you can help

Holly Campbell, 20, volunteered with Raleigh ICS in India in 2013. Here she shares her report from a workshop exploring a Year of Girls’ Rights, led by YouthForChange. Last year the UK hosted the first Girl Summit, aimed at mobilising domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation. How will the Global Goals help maintain that momentum? 1.These are Human rights breaches Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are both issues that, despite what others may argue, are a breach of human rights. Despite there being four types of FGM there are no health benefits from the practice. It results not only in physical pain and problems such as UTIs, cysts and fertility issues but also leaves huge psychological damage. Similarly, CEFM causes a plethora of issues such as women dropping out of school, lack of freedom, prevention of economic opportunity and both psychological and physical damage. Around 700,000 young girls die each year from CEFM induced child birth. 2.This is happening on our doorstep Although many may think these issues are taking place in areas far away from home, it is a shock to hear that many of these issues are taking place in the UK. Over 137,000 women in the UK have been affected by FGM. Making up a substantial proportion of the 125 million to be affected worldwide. It’s not just about girls Although the workshop was based on gender equality and in particular girls’ rights, this does not mean that men were excluded. We were all surprised to...
Youth Summit: how it all began

Youth Summit: how it all began

Aaron Toland, aged 22 from Belfast, volunteered with Progressio ICS in Honduras. Here, he captures the opening activity at the Youth Summit. The Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening opened the Youth Summit reflecting on the success of the MDGs. Poverty has been halved, child mortality slashed, to name a few. Justine focused on the differences in the SDGs and the MDGs,  the focus of sustainability and universal application. She linked SDG 16:Peace and Justice to the refugee crisis in Syria and emphasised the need for a peaceful and just world, free from violence. Justine looked at the crowd and said that events like this are how change occurs, and that young people have two major roles to play in achieving these SDGs: *Be advocates of change* “Our voice and our opinions of what we want in our world.” *Be agents of change* “Get pulled of the audience and onto the stage, change things, be the change maker.” The crowd were greeted to a video message from Nobel Laureate Malala Yousofzai who started by apologising that she could not attend, but reassured those in attendance it was for a valid reason, for the education that she had fought hard for. The documentary “He Called Me Malala” showcasing Malala’s story is released across the UK on 6th November. Anti-FGM activist stepped up to a roaring crowd, thanked everyone for the invitation to the Youth Summit and praised the role young people have had to date. Fahma reflected upon the challenges of raising issues as a young person, ranging from having over 75 people protesting at her college over an anti-FGM event that was planned,...