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Airing Pain 71: Protect our Girls

Per­sis­tent pain and the fight to end female gen­i­tal mutilation

[Tafad­hali bofya hapa ili kuso­ma nukuu ya nakala ya pro­gra­mu hii iliy­ofasiri­wa kwa Kiswahili.]

This edi­tion has been fund­ed by a grant from Rosa: The UK fund for women and girls

Over 100,000 women in the UK have been affect­ed by female gen­i­tal muti­la­tion (FGM) with dev­as­tat­ing long-term con­se­quences includ­ing per­sis­tent pain. Janet Graves hears from FGM sur­vivors and the health­care pro­fes­sion­als treat­ing them about this cul­tur­al­ly-embed­ded prac­tice and how to uproot it.

Hana Gilbremed­hen and Valen­tine Nkoyo speak about the impact being cut as chil­dren has had on their psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal health as well as their rela­tion­ships. Nkoyo also explains how her Moja­to Foun­da­tion is work­ing to mobilise oppo­si­tion to FGM from with­in the com­mu­ni­ties affected.

Gilbremedhen’s expe­ri­ence of undi­ag­nosed chron­ic pain after FGM high­lights the lack of knowl­edge among health­care pro­fes­sion­als. Clin­ics with expe­ri­ence in see­ing women with FGM are vital, says Spe­cial­ist Mid­wife Juli­et Albert, if they are to get the care they need. Mid­wife, ‘fight­er’ against FGM and founder of the Hope Clin­ic Aïs­sa Eden shares her sto­ry and stress­es the impor­tance of edu­ca­tion in ensur­ing the safe­ty of the next generation.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: FGM: female gen­i­tal muti­la­tion, women’s pain, women and girls, pelvic pain, uro­gen­i­tal pain, trau­ma, PTSD, men­tal health, child­birth, preg­nan­cy, men­stru­a­tion and periods.


  • Juli­et Albert, Spe­cial­ist FGM Mid­wife, Queen Char­lotte Hos­pi­tal, Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Health­care NHS Trust and Project Lead at the Acton African Well Woman Clinic
  • Valen­tine Nkoyo, Mojatu Foun­da­tion, Nottingham
  • Hana Gibremed­hen, Mojatu Foun­da­tion, Nottingham
  • Aïs­sa Eden, Spe­cial­ist Midwife.

More infor­ma­tion:

  • For a com­pre­hen­sive list of FGM clin­ics and resources vis­it
  • The Moja­to Foun­da­tion:
  • The Hope Clin­ic:
  • For more infor­ma­tion about FGM, please see our FGM fact­sheet
  • Read more about this issue in this arti­cle from Pain Mat­ters issue 62
  • To vis­it the Pain Con­cern Forum, where mem­bers offer sup­port and share their expe­ri­ences of liv­ing in pain, click here.


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