News / Africa

    Somalia to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

    Somalia to Ban Female Genital Mutilationi
    X
    Abdulaziz Billow
    August 27, 2015 12:48 PM
    Hope at last for girls in Somalia as the government signals its intentions to ban female genital mutilation, a brutal practice girls in Somalia have been forced to undergo for years. If the new law is enacted, those found practicing the act would face criminal charges. Abdulaziz Billow reports
    Somalia to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

    Hope at last for girls in Somalia as the government signals its intentions to ban female genital mutilation, a brutal practice girls in Somalia have been forced to undergo for years.
     
    If the new law is enacted, those found practicing the act would face criminal charges.

    The practice, which has life-threatening side effects, is very popular in many African and Middle East countries. According to figures by the United Nations Childrens Fund, female genital mutilation in Somalia alone stands at 98 percent.
     
    Among its effects are lifelong pain, infections, infertility and difficulties during childbirth.
     
    “In the past when girls were subjected to FGM, it used to be something the society was proud of, but it's no longer the same," said Samatar. "People shy from being associated with FGM. Now, when parents want their daughters to undergo FGM, they opt for underground avenues rather than public. That’s a clear indicator that the number of cases has drastically reduced.”

    Now the government is creating a clear policy that will end the practice.
     
    Religious leaders, community heads and the country’s lawmakers are considering legislation initiated by the Ministry of Women.
     
    Once the law comes into use, those found practicing the act would be arrested.
     
    “To all those who practice FGM, we have seen the effect it has," said Samatar. "This practice has to come to and end. The ministry is also working on establishing a law to ban FGM. If anyone will be found practicing this culture, they will be arrested by the government”.
     
    Experts say a community mobilization effort will help end the practice and raise awareness of the law in a country where the practice of female genital mutilation is almost universal.
     
    The practice has been outlawed in 18 other African countries.
     
    Experts say eradicating the brutal practice in Somalia will take time. But banning it is a major step to ensuring that Somali girls will have a normal life in the future.

     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Borba
    August 29, 2015 10:22 AM
    Thank you Somalia Stop violence domestic in Africa girls the power to change your life and contribution by the end of poverty in Africa

    by: Shamsa Caddey from: Somalia
    August 29, 2015 1:55 AM
    The government copied this irrelevant piece of legislation from foreign countries not to improve women/girls' life but to satisfy only some international organisations demands. If anybody is serious about empowering local women and girls should do it practical way, but putting forward counterfeit laws will never be a helpful tool.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Xamar-Weyne, Somalia
    August 28, 2015 12:44 AM
    This so called FGM is a long standing culture of Somalia and many African and Middle Eastern countries. I'm not trying to portray it as good culture. Hasty drawn regulations banning the practices will never bring it to stop. Somalis need education, awareness, understanding, compassion and caring.

    by: R. Shack from: Austin, TX
    August 27, 2015 10:52 AM
    Very good news. I hope and pray that this effort will succeed in protecting girls there. May the law be enforced, and backed up with education.

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