Midwives could be asked routinely to raise the issue of female genital mutilation with pregnant women from communities where the practice is prevalent.
The Department of Health is looking at gathering data on the numbers who have been illegally mutilated in an attempt to safeguard children and potentially increase the number of prosecutions.
Campaigners applaud the move, pointing out that often women are not examined during pregnancy and so the first time NHS professionals are aware that a woman has been cut is during childbirth, when it may be too late to give her the help she needs.
It is also hoped that collecting the data will help to identify the baby girls at birth who may be at risk in the future.
[SWN – Note the image the Guardian use to illustrate the story, we’ve reproduced it here. Is FGM a prevalent problem in the white/lighter skinned side of the community then?
“UK communities that are most at risk of FGM include Kenyans, Somalis, Sudanese, Sierra Leoneans, Egyptians, Nigerians and Eritreans. However women from non-African communities that are at risk of FGM include Yemeni, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani women” <<that’s from the Equalities Office Fact Sheet on FGM.
Very pale skinned communities! Could it be a case of the media misleading us again, same as when all those knife, gun crime, and honour violence stories always show whitey in their illustrative images?]