Female Circumcision

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 AMS/B/18
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 3JBS2 5/1996 18.5 JB 148
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      3 folders

Scope and Content

Consists of:

- correspondence enlisting support for Lord Kennet's Bill and (later Mrs Marion Roe's Bill) to prohibit female circumcision in the UK (bills introduced in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Became law in 1985)

- photocopy of leaflet of Women's Action Group on Female Excision and Infibulation (predecessor of the Forward group) asking for support of Bill (Feb 1984)

- letter discussing Pam Holmes' article in 'Cosmopolitan' (Jun 1984) that the 'Prohibition of Female Circumcision Bill' was racist (photocopy of article attached)

- correspondence concerning a seminar on health of women and children in Africa held on 4 Aug 1984 with leaflets from 'Forward' (Foundation for women's health research and development) and report

- photocopy of draft report of the working group on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children, Commission on Human Rights, second session, 9-13 Sep 1985 and report on the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 by Joyce Ansell submitted on behalf of the International Abolitionist Federation (with letter dated 14 Aug 1985)

- position paper on female circumcision for Commission on the Status of Women 12-16 Jan 1987

- manuscript notes


- 'Prohibition of Female Circumcision Bill' (2 Mar-24 Apr 1985) (some are annotated)

- 'Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985', London: HMSO, 1985

- 'House of Lords Official Report. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Thursday 10 Nov 1993', London: HMSO

- photocopies from Hansard of reading of Bill (23 Jan, 26 Jan, 7 Feb, 27 Mar 1984, 3 Jun 1985)

- reprinted leaflet from International Planned Parenthood Federation on 'Medical dangers of female circumcision'

- leaflet 'Dying of shame', Minority Rights Group (1982)

- pamphlet 'Female Circumcision', The Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights, Oct 1982

- page from 'Good Housekeeping' 'We Must act to stop female circumcision' (Sep 1983)

- leaflet from Anti-Slavery Society (1984)

- leaflet and 'Female circumcision, excision and infibulation: the facts and proposals for change', report number 47, revised 1983 edition, Minority Rights Group, 1983 (French edition for 1982)

- leaflets 'Refugee report 1984' The British Refugee Council and exhibition leaflet 'Invasions: tribal peoples and the struggle for their land'

- photocopy of 'New Statesman' (Nov 1983) on female circumcision (with letter dated 8 May 1985)

- photocopy 'Female circumcision genital mutilation' from 'Forward News' Oct 1990

- photocopy of article 'Female circumcision: call to outlaw needless mutilation' from 'New Scientist' Dec 1990

- 'The warrior queen' from 'The Times magazine' (6 Mar 1999)

Press cuttings some glued on paper (1982-1993) on female circumcision and the passing of the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. Two headlines:

- 'Stop these 'operations' letters to the editor of 'The Observer' dated 17 Oct 1982

- 'Government backing for circumcision Bill' from 'The Times' dated 11 Nov 1983 plus others on same subject

See GB 106 AMS/F/03 for Annual Report of Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights (31 Mar 1982) with piece on female circumcision on p 5