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Savera UK hosts film event to shine a light on FGM

By Shauna at Savera UK

6th February is a day of international observation for female genital mutilation (FGM) sponsored by the United Nations. As FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women, the 6th February is a day that helps us all raise awareness about this hidden crime.

In partnership with Merseyside Police, Savera UK held a film night at FACT showing the film Dunia (Kiss Me on the Eyes) by Lebanese filmmaker and journalist Jocelyne Saab. The film didn’t just touch on the horrific practice of FGM but also presented a complex picture of how gender and class intersected in and put pressure on a young Egyptian woman.

 

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Wonderful and inspiring event – has given me increased motivation to push forward the FGM agenda in my organisation.

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The film was then followed by a panel discussion including Victoria Canning (The Open University), Afrah Qassim (Savera UK Founder & Chair), Mary Otuko (FORWARD), Denise Malcolm (Merseyside Police) and an FGM survivor. The panel was chaired by Anahid Kassabian, a film and media scholar. The film evoked a powerful discussion between the panel and audience members about what needs to be done to start the discussion on such a taboo subject in order to raise awareness, as well as working together to end the harmful practice. Afrah Qassim said that the event was “an opportunity to bring professionals and the community to have a dialogue on issues that impact us and our families, including FGM and other related subjects.”

The amount of women and girls affected and the exceptionally appalling health risks of FGM are the reasons why the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is so imperative. It is vital to educate professionals on recognising the signs of a young girl who is a victim of FGM as well as challenging this taboo subject within the communities where it is culturally accepted and rife.

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