- Fahma Mohamed is no ordinary British teenager. The 17-year-old has managed to convince education secretary, Michael Gove to write to schools in order to urge them to take a more proactive approach to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Mr Gove agreed to write to all schools in England after Fahma, a trustee of Integrate Bristol, led a campaign that gathered up to 250, 000 signatures, urging Mr Gove to step in.
Speaking to the Guardian, Fahma said: “I think it is fantastic that he is finally listening. I feel like we had got over the biggest hurdle and I am so glad he is willing to meet us and see the work we do.”
The teenager from Bristol also expressed her gratitude to all the people who supported the campaign.”I want to thank every single person who signed, without them we would never have got this meeting and Mr Gove would never have agreed to write to all schools. This is a real step to helping us eradicate this issue forever. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders.”
The Education Minister praised Fahma and her colleagues, saying what they had achieved was truly inspirational, describing FGM as a horrific crime which must be ended.
The materials to be sent out to schools will include helpful resources such as prevalence statistics, factors that heighten risk, warning signs and a reminder of the statutory safeguarding duties of teachers and other school staff in relation to FGM, as well as links to other information.
According to the Guardian, It is estimated that there are 24,000 girls at risk of FGM. Hundreds are taken abroad each summer to be cut, often with little or no indication of what is about to happen.
There have been many documentaries on UK TV channels hoping to raise awareness of the abuse which is also thought to be happening here in the UK without the knowledge of the authorities.
It is hoped that by involving schools and creating more awareness, potential cases can be picked up quickly and appropriate action can be taken to safeguard children at risk.