This CRiVA seminar will feature presentations from two experts and activists on female genital mutilation, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. Susan Mansaray (from the Stockton-based community organisation Purple Rose, which was set up to raise awareness about issues affecting BME women) will discuss the challenges of the contemporary context of FGM in the UK, and what can be done in local communities to tackle it, including the work being Purple Rose has done in the North East. Shabina Begum (a lawyer and human rights activist), will talk about best practice and reporting duties in FGM related cases. She will discuss the development of legislation in the UK around FGM, and the implications of the legal duty to inform the police that came into force in 2015.
Susan Mansaray’s interest and background in FGM spans over 20 years. Originally from Sierra Leone where she worked as a broadcast journalist for the State’s Broadcasting House, she spent years campaigning against many forms of cultural practices which she described as abuse disguised as culture, including FGM. She set up Purple Rose, a community group five years ago to help raise awareness and campaign against FGM in her community and local area in Stockton where she has lived for the past eight years. Through Purple Rose Susan has delivered training to schools, universities, communities and medical professionals. Purple Rose is a member of the CPS North East FGM focus group and also the North East FGM Partnership Board. Susan is also Trustee of the Regional Refugee Forum North East.
Shabina Begum was called to the Bar in 2009 and admitted as a solicitor in 2013. She is a solicitor at Dawson Cornwell, a leading specialist international family law firm, and has also worked as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate. She was awarded the Blackstone Entrance Exhibition Award and the Lord Lowry Scholarship by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 2008. In 2012 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship enabling her to travel to Sri Lanka, Cambodia and India to conduct legal research on the issue of acid violence. In 2014, she was awarded a Churchill Fellow Medallion, by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, for her research and she was recognised by the British Bangladesh Power and Inspiration Awards as one of the top 100 influential British Bangladeshis in the UK. Shabina delivered an online seminar in the European Family Justice Observatory on acid violence and participated as a speaker at the 16th session of the Commission on the Status of Women held by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in New York March 2016. Shabina is a winner of a 2016 IKWRO True Honour Award.
The event is free to attend and all are welcome - please book your place using this page.