Educating against illegal practice sparks refugee advocacy

Despite its controversy, the dangerous practice of female genital mutilation is an issue that Ms Cruz did not shy away from.

Working for Family Planning Queensland in the 1990s, Ms Cruz worked closely with refugees from African and Arabic cultures to put an end to FGM in Australia.

A survey of Australian paediatricians published in 2017 found 2.3 per cent had seen cases of female genital mutilation, indicating the practice persisted in small frequencies, mostly among migrant populations.

According to the Australian Medical Association, FGM is defined as any procedure involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other deliberate injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

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