Council appoints borough’s first ambassador against Female Genital Mutilation

A council has appointed its first ambassador against female genital mutilation (FGM).

Councillor Naima Ali –  Deputy Mayor of Southwark – took up the post on Southwark council yesterday. She is a victim of FGM.

FGM is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there’s no medical reason for this to be done. It is also called female circumcision, or cutting.

Up to 6,000 women and girls are estimated to be affected by FGM in Southwark, which is markedly higher than that for London and England. 

Cllr Ali said: “As a survivor, I faced unimaginable challenges in my early years. However, I refused to let those experiences define me. Instead, they became the catalyst for my determination to create positive change.

“Today I stand as a testament to resilience and the power of transformation.”

The vast majority of cases in the borough affect women over 15 years old. 

The procedure is painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.

Cllr Ali’s role will include working with organisations and charities in the area to reduce rates of FGM, raise awareness, and guarantee the right services are in place to support women and girls.

You can find FGM Support Clinics based in London or across the UK from the NHS website here:

If you are concerned that someone may be at risk, you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email

If you would like to report a crime anonymously, you can contact Crimestoppers, an independent charity who have an anonymous reporting service, on 0800 555 111 or their website here:

Pictured top: Councillor Naima Ali (Picture: Southwark council)

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