Question S4W-10765: Female Genital Mutilation

Bill Walker: To ask the Scottish Government for what reason there have been no prosecutions for female genital mutilation in Scotland.

Date Lodged: 31/10/2012

Answered by Kenny MacAskill (Cabinet Secretary for Justice) (15/11/2012): There have been no prosecutions because no FGM (female genital mutilation) related incidents have been reported to relevant authorities. This is because it is a hidden problem which affects some women and girls from some minority ethnic communities who are very reluctant to disclose or report it. Some of them have said that they would not disclose FGM for fear of stigma from society and exclusion from their own community. FGM is a harmful traditional practice which involves force, coercion and sometime violence.

There is no evidence that the practice is widespread in Scotland but the Government is not complacent and work is being done to prevent FGM by: 

  • Working closely with minority ethnic community groups and organisations that support victims of FGM and girls at risk, raising awareness, empowering women and increasing confidence to report. The Scottish Government has funded Saheliya, a minority ethnic women’s organisation in Edinburgh, £225,000 over the three years 2012–2015 to work with women from communities affected by FGM. 
  • Raising awareness that FGM is a harmful traditional practice which has serious implications on health and wellbeing of women and girls.
  • Publicising and disseminating information, training presentations and sponsoring of a screening of a film about FGM.

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