Funding boost for My Voice

We recently got the fantastic news that My Voice, our FGM research project will receive further funding from the Scottish Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Fund.

FGM refers to a range of procedures that intentionally alter female genitalia for no medical reason.

My Voice is working with African and Middle-Eastern communities in Scotland affected by FGM to challenge and prevent the practice, and to inform the development of appropriate support services across the country.

The funding will allow My Voice to continue its work up to 2020. The work is particularly relevant to our African Health Project, where FGM is discussed in relation to our work on sexual health and HIV.

We recently published reports documenting the first two phases of the project at a conference attended by 125 people including health professionals, social workers and other practitioners, as well as people from FGM affected communities.

In these phases, community volunteers were involved in peer-research, leading discussions about FGM with other people in the community.

The research explored the many cultural norms, values and pressures that underpin the continuing practice of FGM, which are closely tied to sexuality, morality and modesty. Discussions also looked at the law in relation to FGM, which is illegal in Scotland, and the role that voluntary organisations can play in providing support and advice to help people come forward.

The reports make a number of recommendations to support progress on eradicating FGM. With additional funding now secured for the project, we will be continuing to take this forward in the years ahead.