Wednesday 4th February 2015
A UK Doctor was today found not guilty of performing FGM on a Somali mother at Whittington Hospital in 2012. He was accused of re-stitching a woman after she gave birth, but the court heard this was medically required in order to stop the bleeding from an incision made during delivery to allow for a natural birth.
This is the first case taken to trial in the UK on the basis of FGM (even though it has been illegal since 1985). The Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD) who has been campaigning against FGM for the past 30 years, notes that this case clearly indicates the severe lack of adequate FGM training both in the curricula of medical schools and during residency training.
Naana Otoo-Oyortey, FORWARD’s Executive Director says: “What is clear from this FGM case is that systematic, continuous and mandatory training on FGM is urgently needed for all medical and statutory professionals. This is something FORWARD has been demanding for decades.”
“Ending FGM in the UK should not be just about prosecution and this case makes it clear that more focus should be placed on the protection of girls from FGM, and on provisioning of quality services for women affected.”
In recognition of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which falls on Friday 6th Feb, FORWARD calls for;
1) A gold standard to be agreed by the medical profession on how they handle cases of women giving birth who have suffered FGM (specifically Type 3) and
2) Repeats its call for urgent training for statutory professionals to ensure girls are protected from the health and human rights violations caused by FGM.