A NEWPORT councillor will put forward a proposal to introduce a campaign and a zero-tolerance Charter against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) following a shocking report from the Home Office.
Cllr Gail Giles, for Caerleon ward, will propose the motion of notice at Tuesday’s full council meeting in the hope of raising public awareness on the issue.
The news comes after a Home Affairs Committee report earlier this month revealed 170,000 women and girls across the UK are living with FGM, with a further 65,000 girls under 13 at risk.
Cllr Giles said: “From a meeting of the Newport Labour Women’s Network last year we discussed the issue of FGM and wanted to take it forward as a campaign.
“The main problem is identifying the young girls at risk.
“We’re hoping for a significant campaign for education in school and tying in all the agencies and authorities to identify those at risk.”
Newport West MP Paul Flynn, who sat on the committee, said: “We had horrific, moving evidence from people who were victims.
“We have turned a blind eye to these terrible mutilations and it must stop.
“All of us on the select committee feel action should be taken.
“It certainly is a problem in the communities here but so many people are not aware.
“It is illegal and it is a crime.”
The notice of motion will also call on the council to raise awareness in schools, work with men to understand their role in protecting women at risk and to work with health services.
A spokesperson from Welsh Women’s Aid said: “Women and girls are often too ashamed or scared to speak out, so we know that the practice is massively under-reported.
“Raising awareness is an important part of bringing this unacceptable and dangerous practice out into the open, educating people and helping to ensure help is offered to those who need it.”