Tell schools to teach risks of female genital mutilation before the summer
Warning: This petition is about FGM and may be distressing for some readers.You wouldn't think school girls in the UK have to worry about female genital mutilation (FGM), but we do. Although it is illegal in the UK, it is still happening - 24,000 girls in the UK are currently at risk of FGM. People just don't talk about it, doctors don't check for it and teachers don't teach it. FGM is child abuse. It forces girls into a future of pain from the moment they are cut. They face the risk of infertility, pain during urination, menstruation, childbirth and sexual intercourse. The pain doesn’t go. It’s a traumatic experience they have to live with every single day, physically and emotionally. That’s why I’ve started this campaign with The Guardian.I know of people who have been cut - anyone who knows girls from FGM affected communities will know girls who have been cut. We were told Ofsted would be asking schools what they are doing to protect these girls from FGM, but it never happened. Me and my classmates campaigned for our school to do more on FGM. Now all the girls at school know the risks of FGM and feel able to talk about it. But this is one school. We need this to happen at every school in the country - so that no girl is missed. We need to act now. Many girls are sent away to be cut over the summer holidays. Some are cut at home. They call it the 'cutting season'. If every headteacher was given the information they need to talk about FGM to students and parents we could reach every girl who is at risk before the holidays. We could convince families not to send their daughters to be cut and we can help girls who are at risk. We could break the cycle so the next generation is safe. That’s why I’m calling for Michael Gove to get schools to teach about FGM before the summer holidays. Michael Gove -- we’re serious, we’re not going to back down and we won’t go away.Read more about the campaign at the Guardian.