Lorraine Kelly raises awareness of female genital mutilation in the UK

Lorraine Kelly took to social media to raise awareness of female genital mutilation in the UK as well as Hibo Wardere’s activism.

Hibo appeared on Lorraine’s ITV show last week and was praised for her “incredible bravery” by viewers for sharing her “inspirational” story.

The mum-of-seven revealed she was just six-years-old when she was subjected to the abusive procedure and has since dedicated her life to campaigning for awareness of FGM.

FGM is defined by the NHS as a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there’s no medical reason for this to be done.

Hibo underwent FGM at just 6 years old
Hibo underwent FGM at just 6 years old

The FGM activist told Lorraine: “It’s cruel, it’s beyond words, it’s something that stays with you for the rest of your life. You’ve been given a life sentence stamp that day that happens to you.

“It’s there, it’s part of your life, you can’t get away with it, in your soul.

“In my community it’s done to preserve virginity. They take away your clitoris so you don’t have sexual urges, they seal you up and leave you with tiny hole so you don’t even dream of having sex. It’s all about preserving you for your future husband.”

She explained that her mother and aunt did the procedure due as it’s a ‘social norm’ and it wasn’t coming from an abusive place.

“For them, it’s about preserving your future.

Hibo has spent her life raising awareness of FGM
Hibo has spent her life raising awareness of FGM

‘It’s about being in that setting where all the girls’ are cut. If you’re the only mum that hasn’t cut your girl, people will say you’re not going to get married.

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‘It’s not coming from a place of abuse, it’s a social norm. It affects you in every single part of you.”

In Lorraine’s latest column for HELLO! Magazine, she spoke out to raise awareness of this cruel practice.

She said: “It’s Lorraine here, and this week I want to talk to you about something really important and really serious.

“Now I’ve been lucky in my job to meet some truly inspirational women.

“Women like Oprah Winfrey, women like Meryl Streep and also this week Hibo Wardere.

“Now Hibo is a campaigner against one of the most horrific forms of child abuse against little girls.

“It’s female genital mutilation.

“Now it’s not an easy subject to talk about, and I know a lot of people don’t really want to even think about what happens to these little girls, often held down by their mothers, sisters, aunts and they have their genitals cut and the consequences long term are just hideous.

“It’s unimaginable.

Lorraine continues: “You know what? It’s not just going on in parts of Africa, or parts of the Middle East it’s actually happening here in the UK, and Hibo is absolutely passionate about making sure there’s a lot more education out there so that finally.” , we can get rid of this awful practice.”

As reported in Mail Online, over 200 cases of FGM were performed on women and girls born in the UK between April 2019 and March 2020.

As well as, 6,590 women and girls had a procedure to treat their FGM or were identified as having experienced FGM previously on the NHS in that time period.

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Lorraine also shared Hibo’s crowd funding page as she launches her own organisation, Educate Not Mutilate, focussing on educational workshops for students, teachers and parents in schools.

Hibo’s JustGiving page is close to it’s target, if you wish to donate to help her campaign – here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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