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Supporting our local midwife in her quest to end Female Genital Multilation

Cath Holland is a midwife living in Grange-over-Sands and through her time in Kenya doing VSO training midwives  observed the adverse consequences of female genital mutilation ( FGM) on women during childbirth. She  founded the charity Beyond FGM    which  works in rural Kenya in the Pokot region where this practice is  illegal but carried out  frequently . Cath and her team educate the traditional birth attendants ( who are often the cutters),  women and girls about the consequences of FGM and also educate the men , both elders and the young men.                    

   FGM is associated with traditional “rite of passage” ceremonies with gifts, and to empower girls to  resist FGM and alter attitudes in their communities, a course and  an “alternative rite of passage” ceremony has been devised which does not involve cutting. Instead of the traditional gifts a woven embroidered bracelet is given to each girl.  To assist  Cath with her  work, and to show support and solidarity with these girls, members of SI Grange-over-Sands together with members of Lancaster club learned how to make these bracelets. Member Chris Butler has made over five thousand of bracelets since 2012!


Girls in Kenya with their bracelets

Grange and Lancaster Soroptimists presenting bracelets to Cath Holland




Girls in Kenya with their bracelets
Girls in Kenya with their bracelets 2013



There are several types of FGM according to the WHO:

Type 1 – removal of the clitoris either partially or completely

Type 2 – removal of the clitoris either partially or completely and the labia minora ( inner lips)

Type 3 – removal of the labia minora and the labia majora (outer lips) and sewing up the wound leaving a small hole for the passage of menstrual blood and urine (infibulation). It may also include the removal of the clitoris

Type 4 – includes any other procedure such as pricking the clitoris, introduction of corrosive substance into the vagina and tattoos.

See Comfort Momoh’s Video on FGM



FGM in the UK

FGM became illegal in the UK in 1985 but the law was strengthened in 2003 with the Female Genital Mutilation Act in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Prohibition of FGM Act 2005 in Scotland  to include UK nationals procuring FGM abroad.  Girls are still at risk of being taken abroad for FGM particularly in the school summer holidays, or undergoing FGM within the UK. So far only one prosecution in the UK has been successful (in 2019) and the main focus must be on prevention throughout the world.


There is an excellent Home office leaflet   for individuals and organisations with information about FGM and the Daughters of Eve website includes useful information and support for victims.


To see what we have done  as a club  see our posts in January 2021

If you are interested in joining our club please CONTACT US