Teach five-year-olds how to object to genital mutilation, says top NSPCC official

The Huffington Post is reporting calls from the NSPCC’s Head of Child Protection for children as young as five to be taught about female genital mutilation (FGM) in school to empower them to “protest” their parents’ plans…

John Cameron told The Huffington Post UK that the government should consider making education around FGM mandatory in schools, to teach children to speak up against the brutal and illegal practice of cutting off the outer genitals of girls.

FGM is being carried out on children younger than five in some cases. “It’s a tall order for very young children [to protest],” Cameron admitted, ” but it’s part of the protest: so if you’re an older child you can protest if it has been done to you already or if you’re younger sister is going to be cut.”

Early education would shift children’s mindsets “so they can reasonably face their parents and say ‘I’m going to object to what you are going to do to me’,” said Cameron…

“[Education] wouldn’t be about giving all of the grim, horrible stories about FGM, but you could start very early by teaching that sometimes people have beliefs about women when they get older, beliefs based on factors such as how they look.

“You can begin to instill into very young children that women can be valued because of their brains.

“As children get older, it would get more detailed, as with sex education – you’re not going to give a five-year-old the intimate details about sex.”

FGM education could be included in personal, social and health education programmes (PSHE) in schools, beginning with general education tackling the sexism behind the practice, Cameron argued. FGM is not currently required to be taught about schools, although it is part of the curriculum for schools in some areas where FGM is likely to occur.

“We could educate boys around the value of women, because FGM is driven by a male belief that women are commodities and that you can do what you like with women to serve your purpose as a male,” he said. “Those foundations are often built around young children’s view of women in society.”…

More at: Teach Five-Year-Olds How To Object To Genital Mutilation, Says Top NSPCC Official John Cameron


What do you think of this suggestion from the NSPCC? Is education about FGM something that should be mandatory in all schools from year one onwards, should it be left to the discretion of heads, or are there other approaches you think would be better? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Apprenticeships 'increasingly attractive to middle-classes'
One in seven students have full-time jobs during degree course
Categories: Health.


  1. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove So abhorrent! 5 y old kids can do nothing about FGM…and won’t understand it. The zeal for FGM lessons is unnatural

  2. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove Not for us. It’s not part of Catholic culture..and we won’t have it shoved on our kids. Can’t imagine the lessons. Urgh

  3. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove No doubt all other forms of abuse on ‘ordinary’ non PC pupils will be given minimal attention. Horrible people in education

  4. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove Why have lessons in FGM….but not in other forms of abuse?! We don’t want lesson in any abuse. It is abuse of our kids!

  5. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove As for tackling ‘sexism’….Christians already do one better. We teach respect for all people….not just some genders!

  6. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove Are the NSPCC focusing disporportionatly on PC issues…at the expense of ‘ordinary’ child abuse. Donors must be told!

  7. Busy Mum

    This is why children are so confused nowadays – on the one hand they are told to respect and tolerate ‘all faiths and beliefs’, then on the other hand they are told to challenge some of those other beliefs. And here is the rub…..we may only challenge the ones that the government allows us to!

Let us know what you think...