MCWH Hosts FGM/C Webinar for Health Practitioners

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On the 19th November 2019, the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) hosted the webinar Is Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision (FGM/C) happening in Australia? What health professionals need to know as part of the National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness (NETFA) project.

The webinar is a key activity of the NETFA campaign that seeks to target health practitioners in Australia, raising awareness that “All women and girls who experience or are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision have the right to high quality, safe, and person-centred health care.”

The webinar was hosted by the NETFA National Project Officer, Boipelo Besele and included a panel discussion with experts in the field including Fatu Sillah, a young woman who had experienced FGM/C as a child. The panellists were Juliana Nkrumah, the Domestic Violence Project Manager at Settlement Services International; Professor Angela Dawson, a public health social scientist; Associate Professor Shanti Raman, a consultant paediatrician;  Dipti Zachariah is the Multicultural Health Team Leader at Western Sydney Local Health District  and Fatu Sillah, a youth advocate.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report estimates that 53,000 women and girls living in Australia had undergone FGM/C (AIHW, 2019). Panellists contextualised and discussed the reported figure to help inform Australian health practitioners’ standard of care and support.

A need for holistic care that emphasises human rights is seen as essential in supporting and caring for migrant women who have experienced FGM/C. A multisectoral approach that includes all stakeholders working together is also identified as key to ending FGM/C by 2030, as stipulated by the United Nations Development Goals (2015).

Watch the webinar