ALL IMAGES AND TEXT COPYRIGHT MAGA ESBERG 2014
Zero Harm is about Female Genital Mutilation in the UK.
FGM is an ancient tradition in some regions of Africa and the Middle East and is not based on any specific religion. The practice is active in the UK among migrants from these areas. FGM has no health benefits and it harms girls and women in many ways.
FGM has been illegal in the UK for 30 years; current legislation is designed to make FGM a crime no matter who commits it. It's not just about the original cutting of a girl; it remains a crime even if happening outside of the UK.
In February 2015 a doctor was prosecuted for performing the procedure on a female patient however the case was later dropped because of insufficient evidence. There has been no successful prosecution for FGM in the UK unlike in France where so far 100 convictions have been made. Amnesty International ‘End FGM’ campaign suggests a non-legal approach to FGM; Isabelle Gilette-Faye, a French sociologist and veteran anti-FGM campaigner, says: “Repression alone will not deal with the problem if you do not try to reach the deep-rooted attitudes towards women which produce these practices,”
Anti-FGM campaigners are sometimes accused of ‘cultural imperialism’ for imposing their Western concept of human rights on other cultures and country which some see as violation of state and cultural sovereignty.
With this work I want to encourage discussion on human rights vs cultural practices. I also want to make more people aware of FGM so girls at risk can be given a choice.