During last night’s adjournment debate in the House of Commons, ministers raised concerns over the practice of female genital cutting (FGC), or female genital mutilation (FGM) as was used in the House of Commons debate, in diaspora communities in the United Kingdom.

Lynn Featherstone, the Minister of Equalities and Ministerial Champion on International Violence Against Women opened the conversation on international abandonment movements by citing the work of Tostan and Tostan partner the Orchid Project. She commended Tostan for its culturally sensitive approach in the community-led abandonment movement in Africa.

The following is a clip from Featherstone’s remarks during the debate:

“I want to talk about abandonment. I recently met representatives from the Orchid Project, who introduced me to Tostan, a non-governmental organisation whose mission is to empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights. It takes a respectful approach that allows villagers to make their own conclusions about FGM and to lead their own movements for change. By helping to foster collective abandonment, Tostan’s programme allows community members to share the knowledge. Through this process, entire villages and communities—men and women—have decided together to end FGM. This is incredible work.”

To read the full transcript from last night’s debate, click here.