The changing attitudes have to do with FGM now being considered a form of gender based violence and a violation of human rights. Although it is not automatically understood this way in certain parts of the country where FGM is still deeply entrenched in culture, we see more people understand the concept that even young girls have rights.
Because of entrenched cultural values, these women don't often feel empowered to seek medical help to have FGM reversed, or even to challenge the system and end up perpetrating the same violence on their daughters. The only way to break the FGM cycle is through education and engagement with the communities that still practice it.
We are so excited to be part of the BBC Three Comic Relief documentary, Stop Cutting Our Girls: A Comic Relief Special. We have been on a journey trying to publicise FGM. To go from learning about it amongst ourselves in a little room to talking about it on national TV is really exciting and we're all really proud of ourselves.
With Immigration remaining a significant area of debate in the UK, I assessed the pros and cons of immigration in my interview with Private Law Editor, Amy Ling, exploring the possibilities that immigration allows to students, how it is affects our current housing market and the issue of whether migrants should adapt to British values.
Through their dissemination, the young people have reached over 1,000 girls directly, and many, many more through their films, educational resources and music videos. In the last 12 months, we've provided training and advice to over 2,400 frontline professionals and other adults across the UK. Raising public awareness is key to all this change and media plays a critical role. The Comic Relief documentary for BBC Three, Stop Cutting Our Girls: A Comic Relief Special is an excellent example of this and we are all hoping it will reach a new audience.
Justice is the foundation stone for equality and without it, women and girls are enormously disadvantaged politically, economically and socially. At a minimum, legal equality gives women and girls a level playing field from which to build their capabilities and make meaningfully contributions to society.
I am speaking out because I believe in breaking the culture of silence that is so prevalent in my country. Women and girls are mutilated and they also risk a lifelong sentence of pain, infection, infertility and even death... Only when this violation is clearly banned by law and people are held accountable and fear the penalties will it end.
Today is a vital date for London not least because in the UK an estimated 103,000 women have undergone FGM and 20,000 girls are at risk... We must seize the opportunity to empower millions of women and girls around the world. For a long time international development has been seen as something 'we' do to the rest of the world. That is an outdated worldview which must be broken down.