10 Education resources on FGM
Written by Nora Helal, Education Workshops Volunteer
More than 130,000 women and girls living in England and Wales have been cut, and 60,000 girls every year are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). Despite being made illegal in 1985, 31 years on and there has not been one successful prosecution against FGM. What is even more disconcerting, is that, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), young girls between infancy and age 15 bear the greatest burden of this violation.
To help teach or facilitate lessons on FGM, we have put together a list of 10 resources that could be used in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK.
KS3-4 teaching resources focusing on the elimination of myths surrounding FGM and on the moving stories of girls, women and men who are working to end FGM. These lesson plans – citizenship and PSHE teaching resources – have been carefully structured in order to ease students into sensitive areas of discussion.
The KS3 FGM Lesson is a comprehensive booklet that offers guidelines, case studies, PowerPoint and educational suggestions for use with school pupils. This lesson plan was specifically collaborated to raise awareness of the practice of FGM and to educate the young about facts, issues and where to seek help if at risk. The authors advise that this lesson be taught to year 7 students as the procedure can have a direct impact on adolescent girls.
Using sources from the Orchid Project, you can separate true or false statements with regards to FGM and then ask the students to distinguish between myth and fact. This is a great “ice breaker”, which explores why FGM is perpetuated through such myths and engages pupils on the importance of critical thinking.
This award-winning drama-documentary, “Silent Scream” tells the story of a young Somali girl living in Bristol. The film shows Yasmin’s desperation in trying to stop her mother from putting her sister through FGM. The plot also highlights the misconceptions and myths that have been used to legitimise the practice. After watching the film, pupils can openly contrast and compare their lives with Yasmin’s, whilst reflecting on how they would feel if they had to fight for respect and privacy of their bodies.
These excellent resources include Primary, Secondary and video resources, supported with great activities. They include short films, ‘Everybody’s Business’, ‘Dilemma’, Hannah’ and a themed workshop ‘Let’s talk about pants’. This workshop is aimed primarily at children aged 5 to 6 years old. It introduces the practice of FGM by teaching children that it is simply wrong and by ensuring the importance of having rights over their own bodies.
As part of the PSHE Education, the FGM Game is an outline of advice for educators teaching young people about FGM and ideas for lesson plans related to this topic. The contents include: teaching about FGM or Female Circumcision, teaching controversial issues, what to do in the event of a disclosure, ground rules, two lesson plans and leaflets on FGM for use with this resource.
The short animation Sara’s Story can be used to accompany a specified FGM lesson plan. This short animation centres on the women survivors of FGM and experienced practitioners to generate an awareness of this human rights violation.
This FGM lesson plan is formatted to ease pupils into the sensitivity of FGM. This comprehensive lesson pack also includes guidelines for teaching this in a human rights context.
Easily accessed, Values vs Violence clearly lists popular lesson plans focussing on the topic of FGM. They coincide perfectly with the National Curriculum Programmes of Study across a variety of subject areas by explaining where each lesson plan could be integrated in. This can be used by educators, facilitators and for workshops on FGM.
This is a whole host of training, resources and videos that can be adapted for use in the classroom. It includes short films and documentaries such as ‘FGM: The Film that Changed the Law in Kurdistan’ and ‘Africa Rising’.
Getting more information and help
FGM is a dangerous practice and is against the law. If you or someone you know is at risk, if you are worried that a girl or a young woman has been a victim of FGM, contact the NSPCC anonymously.
NSPCC FGM Helpline Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0800 028 3550
From overseas: +44 (0)800 028 3550
In addition, ChildLine provides a wealth of support, information and advice for young persons and children. Children can contact ChildLine at any time - calls are free and confidential. Phone ChildLine: 0800 1111
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.