This was a qualitative peer study conducted with women in London in July and August 2008. The aim of the research was to gain in-depth insights from women originally from high-prevalence FGM countries, and currently living in and around Westminster. The participatory research process allowed women to articulate probalems and priorities from their point of view.

The study looked at the impact of FGM on the lives of affected women, to see how these women interact with health services and to understand their feelings about the practice of FGM.

The report discusses the following issues:

  • What motivates the practice of FGM within these communities in the UK
  • What women feel are the reasons why the practice should stop

  • Who within the family tends to decide whether FGM should be carried out

  • Women’s views of male perceptions of FGM

  • The impact of education and awareness

  • The impact of moving to the UK

  • The perceptions of behavioural change as a result of UK Law

  • Implications of FGM and its impact on women’s lives

  • Interaction with UK health services

  • Availability of information on FGM
  • We are grateful to the Options consultancy and the the University of Wales, Swansea, who provided technical support for this project.