The price of purity
Female genital mutilation is illegal in the United Kingdom, but unfortunately it still goes on. Samena Chaudhry discusses the work of the charity FORWARD and what you can do to help young women at risk
“If you are in the middle of a forest you can't see how big it is. It was only when I came out of my culture that I was able to objectively look at how it was back home and to see that particular aspects of the culture are wrong,” confesses Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, director of the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development (FORWARD). Looking back she realises that questioning the cultural practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) had never occurred to her while she was in Africa.
Kwateng-Kluvitse (whose mother comes from northern Ghana, where FGM is practised) states FORWARD's aim: “To work towards stopping FGM and to improve the health, wellbeing, and human dignity of African women.” FORWARD has rapidly expanded from a small office on the sixth floor of Eastbourne Terrace, London, to become the leading voluntary organisation in the United Kingdom working to eliminate FGM.