Maggie Wright Associates Ltd

QMU and DARF join forces to raise awareness of female genital mutilation in Scotland

Press Release   •   Dec 04, 2013 14:12 GMT

Edinburgh, December 4 2013; International Health graduates from Queen Margaret University are to address a seminar on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Edinburgh tomorrow (Thursday, December 5th 2013 at 6 PM). Gambian born Fatou Baldeh hit the headlines in November when she spoke of her experience of being cut, aged just seven, as part of a BBC report into concerns that Scotland could become a centre for FGM.

Fatou will be joined by fellow graduate Katie Moore in presenting to health professionals at the event which aims to create understanding about the issue. The seminar has been organised by Dignity Alert & Research Forum (DARF) in partnership with QMU and will include a panel discussion from FGM experts including Oonagh O’Brien, Lecturer in International Health at Queen Margaret University,  Mukami McCrum, ex-Policy Officer for Gender & LGBT Equality & Violence against Women, and DARF founder Dr Monica Mhoja.

FGM involves the full or partial removal of young girls’ genitals. Outlawed in the UK since 1985 this hidden crime is a child protection issue in Scotland where2403 girls were born to mothers from FGM practising countries between 1997 and 2011, according to the BBC report "The Investigation: Cutting Love" aired on BBC Radio Scotland on 17 November 2013.

Commenting on the seminar, Fatou Baldeh, who now works for DARF, said; “Health professionals need to flag up the issue to the authorities if Scotland is serious about tackling this issue. We hope to raise awareness of FGM and the fact that young girls are suffering terribly as a result of the practice right here in Scotland. The legislation is in place but we need to do more to put a stop to the pain and distress these children endure.”

FGM in Scotland: why professionals need to understand the issue is a free event on 5th December 2013 from 6 PM to 9 PM atThomson's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ.To register email  For information on the work of QMU’s International Health MSc programme contact or e mail