Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Written by the LGA

What is FGM?


FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. There is no cultural or religious justification for FGM and it has been illegal in this country since 1985. If it is performed on a British citizen in the UK or overseas it is a crime.

What are the consequences of FGM?


It can leave women and girls traumatised as well as in severe pain, cause difficulties in child birth, and in some rare cases it can lead to death. Current prevalence studies estimate that as many as 60,000 women and girls in the UK could be at risk of FGM, and over 125,000 may already be living with the consequences (Equality Now and City University July 2014). Councils have a statutory duty to safeguard children and protect and promote the welfare of all women and girls, and are committed to working with partners to support the long term abandonment of the practice.