FGM a violation of human rights – Girlguiding Scotland

Girlguiding Scotland is speaking out against female genital mutilation (FGM) today [Friday 6 February 2015] to mark UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.

Through the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS) Stop the Violence campaign, members of Girlguiding Scotland, alongside WAGGGS members in 144 other countries, are encouraged to lobby for changes in legislation and attitudes to stop all forms of violence against women and girls.

An age-appropriate, non-formal education syllabus, Voices Against Violence, runs alongside this campaign, allowing girls to explore issues relating to violence against women and girls with their Girlguiding group.

Denise Spence, Chief Executive of Girlguiding Scotland, said: “Girlguiding Scotland believes all girls and young women should be able to live their life free from torture and degrading treatment.

“FGM is recognised internationally as a devastating form of violence against women and girls and a violation of their human rights.

“That’s why we’re backing the Stop the Violence campaign to call for an end to FGM and all other ways of hurting and controlling women and girls.”

Rosy Burgess, 28, a Girlguiding Scotland member who leads a Brownie Unit in Edinburgh, said: “It’s shocking that FGM is an issue that still affects millions of girls and young women around the world – and that’s why it’s so important to empower girls and young women themselves to speak out against it.

“Through my involvement with the Stop the Violence campaign, I got the chance to go to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in 2013 and successfully lobby national governments to ensure that the rights of the girl child are acknowledged.

“I met many delegates who had been victims of FGM and learned about the problems they have faced throughout their lives as a result of this violence.

“This experience really strengthened my belief that girls and young women should have the right to live without fear of violence or torture.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information about World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ Stop the Violence campaign go to http://www.stoptheviolencecampaign.com/en/home.

Girlguiding Scotland is Scotland’s leading charity for girls and young women with more than 60,000 members. We are part of a worldwide movement which enables girls and young women to fulfil their potential and take an active and responsible role in society.

Girlguiding opens up a world of exciting opportunities for girls and young women across Scotland. Girls can take part in a wide range of activities from adventure sports to camps, international trips, science projects and community action. Find out more @GirlguidingScot, www.facebook.com/GirlguidingScot or www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk.