EastEnders fans praise brave Female Genital Mutilation plot as Mila shares story

EastEnders fans were left praising a 'brave' Female Genital Mutilation storyline after Tuesday's episode.

It came as Mila Marwa sat down with Kathy Beale – who has been letting her stay at her house – to beg her to let her little sister Kioni move in too.

After their mother announced she would be taking Kioni abroad, Mila immediately became worried for her safety.

And in a heartbreaking sit-down with Kathy, she admitted that Kioni was "the right age" to be "cut" – as the same had happened to Mila as a child.

"What you talking about?" a stunned Kathy asked.

"You'd call it FGM," Mila explained.

"No, no, you've got this wrong, you must have," Kathy insisted, unable to believe that such a thing could happen.

"It's exactly what happened to me," Mila told her, as Kathy began to cry, obviously devastated for the younger woman.

FGM – or Female Genital Mutilation – is defined by the NHS as a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed.

Fans took to social media to praise the BBC for airing such an important storyline, with one commenting: "This won't be an easy storyline to watch but it's important to raise awareness and break the silence."

Another added: "Such an important storyline for EastEnders to show!", while a third penned: "So brave of EE for addressing FGM, it's a vile practice and it needs more awareness, hopefully this will help people break the silence."

Someone else typed: "Wow, EastEnders tackles FGM. Tough but important topic before the watershed."

Earlier in the episode, Mila had attempted to get to the bottom of things with her sister as they chatted in the café.

Kioni had been trying to convince her sister to accompany them on the trip.

"If you do come with us… I know the two of you probably didn't do anything like this," Kioni hedged.

But Mila replied: "Actually, we did. Went on a trip once, just me and mum."

"See, she's not all bad! Just… just old fashioned. Set in her ways," Kioni told her.

"Two weeks, yeah. That's when you're going?" Mila pressed, and Kioni looked delighted as she said: "Does that mean you'll think about it?"

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Mila didn't confirm anything to her sister, just agreed she'd take her around the market – perhaps to take her mind off things.

And later, she appealed to Kathy to let her younger sibling move in, safe from their mother.

Call the NSPCC's FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email [email protected] if you're worried a girl or young woman is at risk of (or has had) FGM.

EastEnders airs on Mondays and Fridays at 8pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm.

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