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The practice is usually done by a midwife using a razor blade and up to 24,000 girls are at risk of being mutilated in the UK

• The first known record of female genital mutilation dates from the time of the pharaohs. The mummified body of a princess was found to have been genitally mutilated.

• Although the practice is mainly found in some Muslim societies, who believe, wrongly, that it is a religious requirement, it is also carried out by non-Muslim groups such a Coptic Christians in Egypt, and several Christian groups in Kenya. It is used to control women’s sexuality and fertility by mutilating their sex organs to make sex too painful.

• Over 130 million women living in the world today have been mutilated.

• 6,000 girls are mutilated daily in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and in diaspora communities.

• The practice is usually carried out by a “cutter” midwife in villages using a razor blade, but in some countries such as Egypt and Indonesia it is carried out in clinics and hospitals.

• Up to 24,000 girls are at risk of cutting in the UK, according to one estimate.

• The practice has been outlawed in the UK since 1985 but in 28 years no one has been prosecuted.

• During the same period In France, 100 people have gone on trial for female genital mutilation and there have been 29 convictions.

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