The World Health Organisation has said that the practice of FGM "can end in one generation" and that is why it is so important we get involved in International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. It is sad that we have to have such a day, but it gives us an opportunity to raise awareness and unite in eradicating this barbaric practice.
All of my friends and family will tell you, I'm a bit 'odd'. I have a tolerance for things that are a little bit ick, a little bit bloody or gruesome and the ability to talk about things that make most people gag at the dinner table. But as anyone who knows any nurse will tell you, it's really not all that odd.
People like me, a Muslim boy who felt FGM was not my concern, are slowly waking up to the fact that FGM is everybody's business. Grooming is also everybody's business. Radicalisation is also abuse, and it is everybody's business. And because it is everybody's business, it is our duty to fight it - and to protect vulnerable young people.
FGM, like veiling is not a practice confined to far off lands. FGM continues to be practiced illegally on British born girls, with a case reported in the UK approximately every two hours. If FGM is carried out on a white child in Britain, it will be regarded as criminal - so why does this position shift when a Somali child is violated?
WOW is all I can say when I look back at the last five years. So much has changed in the conversation about FGM and ending the practice within our lifetime is now a tangible reality. It is hard to believe that for me this journey started on a Saturday morning in one of the back rooms of Southbank Centre.
On Saturday 6th February it will be 13 years since the first International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation was marked in Nigeria. Organisations across the globe are continuing to fight FGM every single day and managing to remove some of the shroud of secrecy surrounding the practice...
Our record on bringing perpetrators to justice is woeful - even though we know FGM goes on all the time either here or in the girls' mother countries - both of which are illegal. A prosecution was brought - but the defendant was acquitted and so we are still awaiting our first successful prosecution...