The Child and Early Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Summit being held on 22nd July 2014 and is an important initiative that will raise awareness creating a momentum for change at an international level. The Summit is a call to individuals, organisations and governments to join in highlighting and heightening awareness and making a commitment to change.
For further information on the Girl Summit 2014 click here, the summit is taking place in London from 19th to 22nd July 2014
Southall Black Sisters’ long standing and ground breaking work on forced marriage has been primarily among black and minority ethnic (BME) women in the UK. Over the years, we have been at forefront of making a number of reforms such as the introduction of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 and forced marriage guidelines for professional agencies. In recent years, our experience shows that diminishing resources and funding cuts have had a detrimental effect on delivery of specialist services for BME women and girls facing CEFM and other forms of gender based violence. We call for more resources for BME women’s organisations to help protect victims and more effective implementation of the forced marriage guidelines.
There is also a necessity for prevention and educational work with young people and in communities to change attitudes and practices. The SBS School’s project successfully helped to raise awareness and change attitudes about CEFM and others forms of gendered violence amongst teachers and pupils through intensive interventions by SBS and the development of the young BME women ambassador programme. This shows the need to incorporate these issues in the national curriculum.
Young BME women and girls also need more information and support to come forward and seek help, particularly as the criminalisation of forced marriage (which came into force on 16 June 2014) may drive the problem underground as many victims fear that their parents will ‘get into trouble’ with the authorities.
Hannana Siddique states that there “needs to be a commitment from UK government that central government funding streams will be available to BME women’s groups to help BME girls and women escaping from forced marriage, FGM, and other related violence – criminalisation has now made that more urgent than ever .”
Hannana Siddiqui will be attending and contributing at the Summit.
Here are 6 ways to get involved in the Girl Summit and help end female genital mutilation and child and forced marriage.
For more information go to “Girl Summit 2014 How you can get involved ”
The London School of Economics are holding an exhibition “Too Young To Wed” from 21st July to 1st August.