I was thrilled to welcome the first ever Girl Summit at a local school, Walworth Academy, in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.
The Girl Summit is a big part of the campaign to put a stop to the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and child marriage – and the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Home Secretary and International Development Secretary were all present to speak.
Unicef co-hosted the event at Walworth Academy, which attracted delegates from over 50 countries.
The issues discussed do not just affect women and girls overseas, they have a very real impact here in Walworth, Bermondsey and Old Southwark, and the rest of London and the UK. That is why I am 100% behind my Liberal Democrat ministerial colleagues Nick Clegg, Lynne Featherstone and Norman Baker who have led Liberal Democrat efforts within government to help bring these issues to people’s attention. The UK Government is the world's largest donor to the anti-FGM cause, donating £35 million, and it has been Liberal Democrats leading the charge.
It is shocking to think that there are an estimated 137,000 girls and women in England and Wales who are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. I am proud that as a government we are taking a stand, and incredibly proud that so many people gathered in East Walworth in my constituency to do so.
For more information on what the government are doing to tackle these issues, please click here.
To sign our Liberal Democrat campaign to end FGM within a generation, please click here.