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Education to stop FGM: I know how to stay safe

Olivia Darby, The Wonder Foundation

Today, February 6th, is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and in recognition we are launching our lesson plan “I Know How to Stay Safe” aimed at children at key stage 1 in the UK. This is in keeping with the day's 2016 theme, "Achieving the new Global Goals through the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030."

An issue which affects 100 million to 140 million girls and women across the world, FGM is mostly carried out on young girls before the age of 15. Having no medical benefit, it often has serious repercussions. There are around 66,000 victims of FGM living in England and Wales and experts believe that 24,000 girls under 15 are at risk. Our lesson plan seeks to provide teachers with the tools to discuss this sensitive topic with 4-7 year olds at school and empower small children to speak up if they feel unsafe in any way.

In order to make sure that the lesson plan was appropriate we have consulted with teachers, parents, women from affected communities and those working to prevent FGM. We are grateful for their feedback and are happy to continue to receive thoughts and ideas to continue to improve this resource.

Our mission at Wonder is to empower vulnerable communities worldwide through education. This resource builds on our previous research into FGM in London, some of which was also aimed at healthworkers.