Female genital mutilation: Children to be taught dangers

Secondary school pupils in England will be taught about the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2020.

The new guidelines, to be announced on Monday, form part of the introduction of compulsory relationships and sex education classes in secondary schools.

The new guidance says secondary schools should address the physical and emotional damage caused by FGM.

The practice was outlawed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2003 and in Scotland in 2005.

FGM is the deliberate cutting or removal of a female’s external genitalia.

Lessons will also raise awareness of the support that is available, and ensure children know that FGM is against the law.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the reforms to relationships and sex education curriculum will ensure young people are taught about different forms of abuse and their rights under the law in an age-appropriate way.

He said: “We know that FGM can have a catastrophic effect on the lives of those affected, causing life-long physical and psychological damage.

“Everyone must do all they can to protect women and girls from this extreme form of gendered violence.

“There’s a legislation aspect, and enforcement, but just as important is awareness and challenging assumptions – which is why we are making sure all pupils are given all the facts at secondary school.”

 

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