Past Events

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Zero tolerance to FGM

Title: Zero tolerance to FGM

Speakers: Shahin Ashraf, Ifrah Hassan, Yvette Robbin-Coker

Date: Friday 5 February 2016

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, Marylebone, London W1H 4LP


Event Details

There are some practices of a minority of  Muslims that are perceived as inherently Islamic and proof of Islam's incompatibility with the so-called Western values. However,  research continuously confirms that these practices are either religiously misunderstood or culturally motivated. One such practice is female genital mutilation (FGM) which although usually considered a "Muslim problem" in fact also occurs in many non-Muslim countries in Africa where it is practiced by both Christians - the overwhelming majority in these countries - as well as Muslims.

FGM includes all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
Many myths have formed to justify FGM and ignore its negative, sometimes dangerous, health consequences. Over 130 million girls have undergone FGM globally and in the UK it is estimated that around 20,000 girls are at risk of FGM every year. Despite being illegal for over a decade there has never been a prosecution for FGM in the UK. Often girls are taken abroad from the UK (which is also illegal) on the premise of a holiday for the procedure to be carried out to ensure that it goes unnoticed and unprevented.
Join us on the weekend of International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation as our panel discusses how you can support the work being done to help safeguard the dignity and rights of women and girls at risk.
Entry is free, but as this is expected to be a popular event, please book your ticket in advance on Eventbrite.



Ifrah Hassan, Campaigner, Integrate Bristol

From the age of 13, Ifrah has been involved in raising awareness around and campaigning against FGM and other forms of gender-based violence. She is the Lead Outreach Worker for Integrate Bristol, where she has been a Trustee for two years. Ifrah was part of the group campaigning for the introduction of the International Code for Disease (ICD) for FGM, which has resulted in accurate statistics around prevalence in the UK for the first time. She has consulted with ministers and leaders from the UK, Europe and Africa, and is now engaged in outreach and dissemination work nationally.

Chaplain Shahin Ashraf MBE, Project Manager, Muslim Women's Network

Shahin juggles multiple roles as an activist and campaigner, and a Muslim women’s advocate. She has an extensive understanding of the lived experiences of women. She has combined her knowledge, skills, confidence and passion for justice, in order to be a force of social change, locally, nationally and internationally. She is the Project Manager at the Muslim Women’s Network UK and is the National Lead and researcher on FGM, where she works closely with survivors from FGM-affected communities. This has led to her being on strategic boards in order to influence change for FGM survivors, such as the FGM Taskforce as well as Office of the Police Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the victim’s commission.

Shahin is also one of the few Muslim women chaplains within an academic setting. She currently serves a cross-section of Muslim societies at the University of Birmingham allowing for divergent views. Currently she is heavily involved in the inter- and intra-faith work on and off campus. Among her many achievements, Shahin was on the Queen’s honours list for 2015 and was awarded an MBE for her service to interfaith and community cohesion.

Yvette Robbin-Coker, Training and Development Coordinator, FORWARD

Yvette has vast experience in the field of education, having been the Vice Principal of the Gambia College in Banjul, The Gambia - an institution she served for over 20 years. During her time there she contributed to the extension of the teacher training programme. Currently, she works in the UK as The Training and Development Coordinator for the Foundation for African Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD), where has been instrumental in developing accredited courses from Open College Network London (OCNL) for professionals and other frontline staff responding to FGM. Her work at FORWARD entails delivering training courses for both professionals and community members on the issue of FGM.


Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact us: