Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is joining a campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.
Sharmarke signed an online petition proposing a federal ban of the long-standing practice that 98 percent of Somali women undergo. Ifrah Ahmed, an anti-FGM activist, who herself underwent the procedure as a child, told the BBC she persuaded Sharmarke to sign the petition. Sahra Samatar, Somalia’s minister of women and human rights, said Sharmarke’s support is a “huge boost” to the campaign for a national anti-FGM legislation.
Author: Nshira Turkson
Photo: Omar Faruk / Reuters
As someone who comes from a very conservative Muslim household, one of my biggest struggles has been trying understand the link between Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Islam. My father is an Imam and growing up I always heard my family refer to FGM as sunna. Even though sunna is not an obligation, it is a favoured action in Islam.
Last year I sat down with Imam Fatty, the former imam of the State House Mosque who has strongly advocated FGM in the Gambia.
Although we did not agree on the majority of issues around FGM, it was an important moment when the renowned hardliner admitted to me that FGM is not a religious obligation.
Author: Jaha Dukureh
Photo: Kate Mccullough
The memory of Ebola hangs heavy over Sierra Leone's rambling capital, Freetown. Old billboards reading "stop touching sick persons" loom above highways, body temperature checks remain obligatory at office entrances, and thousands of people continue to mourn the loved ones they lost during the 18-month-long epidemic that ended late last year.
It's hard to imagine that a disease with a 40 percent mortality rate — of the 8,704 Sierra Leoneans infected, 3,589 died — could have left any positive trace on a country already rocked by poverty and corruption. But Ebola did something women's rights activists in the country have not been able to achieve through decades of campaigning — it ended female genital mutilation (FGM), a procedure involving partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia.
Author: Olivia Acland
Photo: Olivia Acland
A HIGH Court order was granted yesterday to help safeguard a baby girl in Staffordshire – believed to be at risk of undergoing unlawful circumcision.
Staffordshire County Council took the unusual step of applying for a Female Genital Mutilation Order to protect the baby.
The council had already successfully obtained a High Court interim protection order until yesterday, which prevented the parents from "encouraging, agreeing or assisting" in circumcision of the baby.
After hearing further evidence at the High Court in Birmingham Mr Justice Keehan granted the order – the first in Staffordshire.
Photo: Burton Mail
My mother, Wandia, was the first Kikuyu girl to escape circumcision.
She aborted the circumcision ceremony scheduled by the Kikuyu Councils of Elders for all boys of her riika (age group) aged between 17 and 21 years and girls aged between eight and 15 years.
In some cultures, cutting the clitoris and the foreskin is a relic of cannibalism and human sacrifice. In the Israelite religion, Abraham sealed his land covenant with Yahweh by sacrificing his own foreskin and that of his son Ishmael (Genesis 17:9-14&23-27).
Author: Dr Timothy Njoya