International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

We believe the best way of preventing the practice is by working with girls and their families, raising awareness in schools and communities and training professionals like teachers and social workers to spot girls at risk of FGM and know how to report it
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.
By understanding these social structures and involving grandmothers as allies, the programme has not only succeeded in reducing FGM, but has also increased older women's sense of self-confidence, and their feeling of being respected and useful in their own community
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...
As parliamentarians, it is our responsibility to continue the work of Aissatou and Fahma. To deliver real legislative action and lasting change to protect and prevent more girls becoming victims of this appalling abuse, here and throughout the World.
On 10 February MEPs will discuss with Commission representatives what measures are needed, such as funding for support services, protection of asylum seekers and the prevention of violence against women and girls in general.
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 That is an outdated worldview which must be broken down.
The Warriors are an inspiring group of Maasai from Laikipia who have swapped their spears for cricket bats. As well as building competitive cricket teams, the Warriors are using cricket development in rural Maasailand to empower young people and tackle social injustice.
Later this week I am travelling to East Africa and I will spend a month meeting with anti-FGM campaigners, representatives from governments and non-governmental organisations working on development programmes and/or violence against women initiatives...