Female Genital Mutilation Banned Under New Somalian Constitution

Somalia has a new government and with it a new provision in its constitution in Title 2: Article 15: Liberty and Security of the Person that bans female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law states:

Circumcision of girls is a cruel and degrading customary practice, and is tantamount to torture. The circumcision of girls is prohibited.

According to several reports between 90% to 95% of all girls undergo female genital mutilation in Somalia. FGM is a procedure where the outside of girls’ genitals (clitoris) is removed in order to take away sexual feeling from the vagina. It is a cultural practice to keep girls pure for marriage, but causes undue health problems throughout one’s life including urinary tract and bladder infections, infertility, cysts, and a need for later surgeries according to the World Health Organization.

While this new law in the Somalian constitution is a move in the right direction it will be another fight entirely to enforce it.

UN Photo/Stuart Price

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