David Cameron is hosting Britain’s first Girl Summit on Tuesday – in a bid to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM) and child/forced marriages. It will focus on tackling violence against women in the UK, and internationally. Heads of state will speak alongisde survivors and charities.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is also expected to set out a package of measures to tackle the practice, including plans to give teachers, doctors and social workers extra training to identify and help girls who might be at risk of becoming victims.
Until now, in England and Wales, it has been estimated 66,000 women are living with the consequences of FGM. But this evening Channel 4 News can reveal new figures that show a sharp rise increase in the number of women affected by or at extreme risk of FGM.
A fresh study funded by the Home Office, which analyses the 2011 census, estimates the numbers of females at risk of being cut in England and Wales has nearly doubled since 2001.
Figures released to Channel 4 News show 137,000 women and girls are affected by or at extreme risk of FGM. 103,000 of those are aged between 15 and 49 years old, and more than 60,000 aged 14 and under were born to mothers who had FGM.