Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Anti-FGM activist Nimco Ali recalls being asked "if she can orgasm" by Jeremy Hunt


Nimco Ali, a Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigner and co-founder of Daughters of Eve, has alleged that UK Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, asked her whether “girls like you” can still have an orgasm.

Speaking with News Roastshe revealed that she had met with Hunt at his Whitehall offices four years ago to discuss her work.

He reportedly said: “What I really want to know Nimco, is, can girls like you have an orgasm?”

The campaigner explained: “It was his first direct question. My reply was: ‘Well, it depends how good you are Jeremy. Because 80% of the clitoris is actually internal’”.

Read more: Rape victims will now be spared the trauma of giving evidence in court

Ali added: “This man is the Secretary of State for Health but he has no idea about FGM and I don’t think he even reads his briefings.”

Hosts Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein were stunned by Ali’s revelation, and criticised Hunt for his “crude” and “disrespectful” line of questioning.

Ali responded: “I think he is privileged enough to ask those questions.”

Jeremy Hunt

Since her original meeting with Hunt in 2013, the UK has taken considerable steps to raise public awareness and education on FGM: the Department of Health recorded its first FGM data last year to improve knowledge of its prevalence, and the NSPCC launched an FGM Helpline in June 2013.

Writing for iNews, Ali pointed out that these changes came as the result of what she called an “odd” meeting with Hunt, and highlighted that he has been instrumental in writing the “Recommendations from the Royal Medical Colleges on identifying, recording and reporting it were taken seriously.

“It is now mandatory to report FGM.”

Read more: Discover the tribe in western China where women hold all the power

Ali has also taken to social media to defend Hunt from backlash, tweeting that she and the Secretary of State for Health are “cool for real” and reiterating that the comment was made four years ago.



Ali also requested that Dawn Butler, an MP for Brent, withdraw a letter she sent to Hunt asking for a public apology for the comment.

Call the Midwife

A recent episode of Call the Midwife featured a storyline about an FGM victim

Female genital mutilation is most commonly carried out in parts of Africa and the Middle East, which attempts to cut, or change female genitalia. It is usually carried out on girls before puberty and can be practiced on infants.

It is illegal in the UK and Ireland: however, the NHS statistics for April 2015 to March 2016, recorded by doctors and nurses, shows there are 5,702 new cases in England, 18 of which were carried out in the UK.

It’s estimated that figures are actually much higher – and that around 170,000 women and girls in the UK have undergone the procedure.

A groundbreaking step in raising public awareness of the brutal procedure came recently thanks to an episode of prime time TV show Call The Midwife, which centered around an FGM survivor. Ali consulted on it and the sensitively handled episode was lauded by the NSPCC for shining a spotlight on the hugely important topic . 

If you’re worried a child is at risk of, or has had FGM, call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 028 3550

Images: Courtesy West Midlands Police and BBC


dating with bipolar.jpg

“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health”


Discover the tribe in western China where women hold all the power

virago publishing.jpg

Virago publishers share the books that made them feminist


The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Reese Witherspoon’s vacation vibes to Cara Delevingne’s birthday getaway

by Nicola Colyer
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

This is why you’ll never see Jennifer Aniston on social media

That account you’re following is a fake.

by Moya Crockett
15 Aug 2017

Oprah Winfrey patiently explains why she’ll never marry her boyfriend

Just in case anyone thought it was their business

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Ryan Reynolds’ emotional tribute to woman killed on set of Deadpool 2

The death of Joi ‘SJ’ Harris has left him “heartbroken”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Billie Piper on feminism, fear and her first love

"I’m just afraid of all of it."

by Stylist
15 Aug 2017

Laura Dern shares some pretty solid life advice

“Write your own story”

by Nicola Colyer
14 Aug 2017