Somalia mulls legislation to fight FGM

Published: July 29, 2016

PSA-FGM-Boosaaso-6feb-025Somalia’s government said it will enact legislation to help end female genital mutilation (FGM) which is rampant in the Horn of African nation.
Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fighting FGM and other forms of gender violence in the country.
“We need to specifically fight FGM. We need an enabling law…We should be specific about FGM and not mix it up with circumcision in general,” Dahir told a forum held in Mogadishu late Wednesday.
The forum brought together women leaders from all the regions in Somalia, federal government officials, representatives from regional states, religious leaders, legislators, clan elders and members of the civil society.
Although FGM is against the constitution in Somalia, there is no legislation which bans it.
A statement from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the Attorney General emphasized that Somalia needed to develop homegrown solutions to eradicate retrogressive practices.
According to the UN, FGM is considered a social ritual which is entrenched in Somali culture. It is defined as any procedure which involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
The UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says the prevalence of FGM in Somalia is about 95 percent and that it is primarily performed on girls aged between four and 11.
Minister of Religious Affairs, Abdulkahdir Sheikh Ali Baghdad, backed calls for a complete end to the age-old practice.
According to Ifrah Ahmed, the Founder of Ifrah Foundation, the conveners of the meeting, intense lobbying for legislation against FGM will continue.
She said her organization would work with the Ministry of Women and Human Rights and partners such as AMISOM to ensure appropriate legislation is passed.
AMISOM Gender Officer, Mane Ahmed, reiterated the mission’s commitment to supporting efforts to end the practice. Enditem
Source: (Xinhua)

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