This week a very important event was held in the UK. The Girl Summit was the first of it’s kind and it was aimed at discussing and tackling two main issues: female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. On the Weekly Wrap Up, our editor-in-chief Asha Dahya shares why a summit like this can encourage all of us to play even the smallest part in creating change.
UNICEF, who teamed up with the British Government to hold this summit, say that while the numbers of women and girls still experiencing FGM and child marriage around the world is in the hundreds of millions, the good news is the numbers have slowly been declining over the past 30 years.
They say a lot of that is due in part to the younger generations being education about the psychological and health risks of both these horrible practices, and sharing that knowledge with their mothers, grandmothers and community elders who aren’t necessarily aware of why either of these issues are bad.
If that is true, then we can’t just rely on governments to take all the responsibility of making it stop. We as everyday people can raise our voices, share valuable information because with the power of technology right at our fingertips, there is no reason we can’t join in the fight and the conversation.
Countries like the UK and Ethiopia have recently implemented some landmark legislation which will hopefully be a key factor to eradicating FGM and child marriages altogether in their respective countries. The UK has made FGM and child marriage illegal and punishable with jail, whether the UK national commits the crime at home or abroad. Ethiopia says they are pledging to stop both these crimes completely by the year 2025, also making them illegal.
These countries are leading the way by showing the rest of the world these issues aren’t just limited to sub-saharan nations (where FGM numbers are the highest), but because of heavy immigration in many western countries, it is an issue that has become a lot closer to us than we think. It is important that governments create legislation that reflect the changing culture to protect women and girls.
Watch the Weekly Wrap Up below to hear more of Asha’s thoughts and facts on the summit, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel so that you don’t miss any of our videos posted every week.