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FGM was practised in Senegal only by certain minority ethnic groups, but was nearly universal among them. Now Tostan is beginning work in Guinea, Djibouti, Somalia and the Gambia, where FGM rates are 90 per cent and higher nationwide. In the latter two countries, FGM is not illegal, and in all four, opposition from religious authorities will be powerful.

There is also growing evidence of FGM in immigrant communities around the world, where in some case, the ritual is more entrenched than in the community of origin. Tostan has just opened an office in Paris for this reason.

According to a study carried out last year by African women’s rights monitor Forward, 98,000 girls under the age of 15 in the UK are at risk of FGM or have undergone it already. We may well need an office here, too.

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Cathy Trodd
November 8th, 2008
6:11 PM
Go, Louis! This is a subject that definitely needs airing, difficult to contemplate though it is.

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