A new app to tackle FGM
Researchers from the Centre for Communities and Social Justice (CCSJ) at Coventry University have created a new app, endorsed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), to help protect young girls and women from female genital mutilation (FGM).
Funded by donations from the Pamela Barlow, Eleanor Rathbone and 1970 Charitable Trusts, the free to use app called ‘Petals’ is the first of its kind to be developed in the UK and was demonstrated at a special launch events in London and Coventry in July 2015. Research and development of the 'Petals' app was led by Professor Hazel Barrett and her team.
Female genital mutilation, which is sometimes called female genital cutting, female circumcision or sunna refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but is a growing problem across the country.
Coventry City Council has been working with health professionals, members of affected communities and other stakeholders on a formal pledge to end the practice within the city and its surrounding areas. It is the first and only local government authority to take an integrated approach to tackling FGM and a full council motion to condemn the practice has been supported.
The app, which works across most smartphones, tablets and laptops via an internet browser, is aimed primarily at young girls living in affected communities and at risk from FGM. But it can also be used as an educational tool to teach young people and others the facts and realities of FGM.
With the school summer holidays approaching, the app’s launch is timely as this is the point in the year when girls at risk may be sent to their heritage countries for the procedure to be carried out or cut here in the UK. Out of contact from their teachers and classmates for several weeks, by the time they return to school the outward signs that they have suffered FGM may be less apparent.
ConnectMe is a three-year project supporting Coventry’s long term unemployed and economically inactive people. The project aims to make it easier for people who are experiencing barriers to employment to move into education, training or employment.
What the Prevent duty means for schools and colleges in England: An analysis of educationalists’ experiences
In July 2015, a legal duty came into force requiring that ‘specified authorities’, including schools and further education colleges, show ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ – popularly referred to as the ‘Prevent duty’.
The report ‘What the Prevent duty means for schools and colleges in England: An analysis of educationalists’ experiences’, published 2 years after the introduction of the Prevent duty, seeks to get beyond the polarised public debate about the duty to explore the experiences of ‘front line’ education professionals.
Coventry University to play five-year host to UN academic council
Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) has been selected to host the headquarters of the prestigious Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) for five years starting in 2018.
The university’s research centre, which is based on its Technology Park and which specialises in trust, peacebuilding and human security, will assume the role of secretariat to ACUNS from next year.
CTPSR at the Guardian University Awards
Coventry University has been shortlisted for a prestigious award by the Guardian for the impact of its research shedding light on the dynamics of Europe’s migration crisis.