FORWARD’s Response to Recent FGM Case at the Old Bailey

FORWARD’s Response to Recent FGM Case at the Old Bailey

FORWARD’s response to the current FGM case of a three year old girl undergoing FGM in the UK to Ugandan/Ghanaian parents and the apparent links to witchcraft:

For over 33 years FORWARD has worked with communities affected by FGM in the UK and in various countries in Africa. To our knowledge the recent case of the Ugandan/Ghanaian couple in the courts for allegedly subjecting their daughter to FGM only has links to witchcraft due to witchcraft being used to silence social workers and police. Witchcraft has not been stated as the reason that FGM was performed on their daughter. FORWARD believes we need to be extremely cautious about linking FGM to witchcraft as over 33 years working on this issue we have not heard of cases where witchcraft was the REASON for the FGM. We have heard cases for example in our programme in Tanzania where the discarded flesh from cut girls is sold for ritual purposes and we know in many communities FGM is practised due to traditional religious beliefs- in that the ‘gods’ determine when a cutting season takes place.

However this case does not indicate any links between witchcraft and FGM, it just shows that this specific couple did believe in and use witchcraft only for the use of silencing professionals who were suspicious about their daughter having had FGM“. – Naana Otoo-Oyortey, Executive Director, FORWARD.

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