The problem of women suffering the aftermath of forced female genital mutilation has gotten so bad in the U.K., Wales has had to open a whole clinic just to serve FGM survivors.
According to the BBC, the newly-launched Women's Wellbeing Clinic at Cardiff Royal Infirmary will offer specialized care and counseling for the estimated 2,000 FGM victims living in Wales. A stunning 132 women were treated for FGM-related problems in Wales last year alone, the report adds.
The BBC noted that according to government data they’d reviewed, “a case of female genital mutilation was discovered on average every three days by maternity staff in Wales in 2016.”
FGM isn’t just a problem in Wales – it’s a problem all across the U.K. The Independent reported last year that in England alone, “Between April 2015 and March 2016 there were 8,656 times when women or girls attended doctors' surgeries or hospitals and the problem was assessed — the equivalent of one every 61 minutes.”
It's not clear how many of these FGM cases involved girls who'd been mutilated within the country versus immigrant women who'd undergone the procedure in their home countries before coming to the U.K.
FGM is still a common practice across parts of Africa and the Middle East, where little girls, often under the age of 7, are held down and forcibly circumcised. The barbaric practice is done for entirely non-medical reasons, often to preserve a girl’s “purity” and restrict her ability to enjoy sex. Women can suffer severe and even deadly medical and psychological problems from the procedure for the rest of their lives.
(Cover Photo: Jessica Lea/DFID)