month 200 members of the Somali community met at Verdon Street
Rec to protest about a letter sent to every Somali family
in Sheffield by the Sheffield Area Child Protection Committee
The letter threatened action, including imprisonment,
against anyone planning or involved with female circumcision.
Families were advised to contact the ‘Agency for Culture
and Change Management’. The meeting’s organisers
told the Messenger:
years many in the Somali community have been campaigning to
end female circumcision and we welcome the efforts of the
SACPC to protect our children. What we are concerned about
is the way they have gone about this, without making any effort
to seek our involvement or support. Instead they have sent
out inflammatory letters and caused great offence.
serious is the way the have chosen to enforce their legal
responsibilities. They have visited single mothers without
warning or interpreters and aggressively interrogated them
without offering any evidence of wrongdoing. They are attacking
our basic human rights and undermining good relations developed
over the years.
are surprised by this action because we know that Sheffield
services are opposed to discrimination and are committed to
Equal Opportunities and we would welcome a dialogue with SACPC.
Somali mother, Sheffield
To contact Somali women working around this issue phone Fatima
Musa on 0797 151 9644 or Amina Souleiman
on 0114 275 7503.