Mogadishu: A meeting aimed at preventing and controlling the dangers posed by the practice of Female Genital Mutilation was held in Mogadishu on Sunday, The meeting which was organized by the Global Media Campaign and Ifrah Foundation – an anti FGM advocacy organization was attended by officials from the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia, Religious leaders, Lawyers who spoke with one voice, strongly condemning Female Genital Mutilation with a pledge to accelerate action and ensure the practice is eliminated in Somalia.
Some of the religious scholars who spoke at the event insinuated the use of an alternative method of circumcision locally referred to the “Sunnah” (partial cut) is the better way to circumvent the dangerous Female Genital Mutilation practice which caused terrible consequences on women and girls including death, disability, sexual dysfunction and complications during childbirth.
Jurist, Abdullahi Hussein Fanah said that the easiest way overcome the dangers of FGM is to put in place a legal system that regulates and prosecutes mutilators/cutters of female genitals. He urged the Somali government to accelerate the development of laws that clearly outline the punishments against Female Genital Cutters.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs of the Federal government of Somalia Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow who also spoke at the meeting stated that his ministry held public awareness campaigns geared towards educating the public for them to understand the position and teachings of Islam in regards to FGM mentioning that a fatwa (a ruling on Islamic law) was issued against FGM.The PS also stated fatwa was unanimously supported by 120 prominent religious scholars who committed themselves to get the fatwa realized and adopted by the public.
“Any individual found to have carried out the FGM procedure will face full force of the law including the full payment of blood compensation of the victim” Said PS Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow.
As many as three cases of deaths resulting from bleeding after going through Female Genital Mutilation/Cut have been reported in Somalia over the past few months, This indicates a decline in FGM related deaths, according to a statement issued by Ifrah Foundation, the decline was said to be hugely contributed by the relentless awareness campaigns carried out by the Global Media Campaign initiative through religious leaders and media organizations to educate the public on the adverse effects and dangers of Female Genital Mutilation.
“Female Genital Mutilation is not a religious requirement. It is totally not accepted by Islam and all religious scholars in Somalia are in agreement to this” Said Jurist, Abdullahi Hussein Fanah
Somalia is among the countries where Female Genital Mutilation is still practiced mainly in the rural country side. Though some gains have been recorded, the practice still remains a threat to young Somali girls and women.
Bandhiga Media 2018