My fight against the horror that hurts 140 million women

Fahma Mohamed, who is meeting Education Minister Michael Gove in London today. Credit: Adrian Sherratt for the Guardian

17-year-old schoolgirl Fahma Mohamed will today present the Education Minister Michael Gove with more than 230,000 signatures from her petition calling for schools to teach risks of Female Genital Mutilation.

So we’re finally here. After a huge campaign, nearly a quarter of a million signatures and the support of Malala and Ban Ki-Moon, we’re in London to see Michael Gove himself. The man who could make history today in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Three years ago, when I joined Integrate Bristol, I didn’t even know about Female Genital Mutilation. I wasn’t a ‘campaigner’ - I wasn't into politics. I sat in the background, never spoke up, never told people what I thought.

When I heard about the brutal practices of FGM, my outlook changed. I wanted to stop it - to contribute the struggle against this horror that hurts 140 million girls around the world for life.

Then I found out it happens here. In the UK. Vicious child abuse, taking place on our doorstep. I was angry that it could even happen, but even angrier that we’d never been told about it in school.

That’s why I started the petition. That’s why I’m humbled that over 230,000 people are supporting me. That’s why I’m taking boxes of signatures to Michael Gove today, and will sit down with him, asking him to do something amazing against FGM in the UK.

We already had so much support from coalition MPs such as Lynne Featherstone, Jeremy Hunt and Jane Ellison; having Michael Gove on board will make a huge difference in eradicating FGM.

Read: Government to tackle Female Genital Mutilation

This summer more than 20,000 girls in Britain could fall victim to FGM. Mr Gove should write to all schools to give headteachers the support they need to break the silence and start breaking the cycle of abuse.

By talking about it in an age appropriate, calm way in the classroom, the next generation could be saved from this horror, and we could even end FGM for ever.

More: Female Genital Mutilation victims share their stories

Her views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.