So many things have been abused in the name of culture and religion, says Fahima Hashim of Sudan #twconf12
Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal said that no one knew the extent of honour killings until the last decade. Today there are 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages in the United Kingdom each year, and 10 to12 honour killings each year. But that number is an undercount because families will export their women to be killed overseas, and girls go missing who have been murdered by their family and their bodies buried. He cited a case where 8 men sat around planning how to kill a girl who had kissed a boy in public. They captured and raped her, killed her and buried her body in a suitcase. The audience clapped as he recounted extraditing suspected murderers from Iran back to the UK to face prosecution for honour killing. Afzal said: "Our journey is some distance away," but the laws are in place, and police and social service professionals now know what the minimum standards are. "Yet those minimums are not where we need to be in the future," he said. A national hotline gets 6,000 calls a year. Prosecution is the end, but it is a failure, because it happens once someone has died, he said. Very often shame is quoted as the motivation. But Afzal said: "I am shamed that men are so obsessed by women's sexual behaviour.... by the great wall of the vagina." He quoted one man who told him: "Nazir, you don't understand. Men are a piece of gold and women are a piece of silk. You drop gold in mud and you can wipe it clean. You drop silk in mud and it is ruined.' Afzal said we must shame men for thinking this way, and we must work with young people to change their attitudes and use education to develop a cadre of young people to ensure this does not continue for another generation.
Jimmie Briggs shares names of other organisations of men who are fighting FGM and violence against women in countries around the world #twconf12
There have been ZERO prosecutions against FGM in the UK despite the fact a law has existed against it for 27 years, says Nazir Afzal #twconf12
Afzal says there have been no posecutions in 27 years for female genital mutilation, even though the UK has been on the books that long. Only last month has the UK recognised that a new approach is required. He says we have got the laws, it is about making sure that every one knows what their responsibility is and supporting those who speak out and come forward.