Today is the eleventh anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This important Day was first declared by four African first ladies on February 6, 2003, aimed at bringing people around the world together to put an end to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).
FGM affects millions of women across Africa with the practice often performed by untrained practitioners, without anesthesia, using unsterilized and crude instruments. The barbaric act causes intense physical and mental harm, the procedure poses severe short- and long-term health risks.
His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, said:
“FGM is not a religious practice it is a horrific act that is simply an abuse of a young girl’s human rights. Let’s be clear it is an absolutely unacceptable practice and an act that will soon be illegal under Somali law, is against the provisional constitution and will be incorporated into our final constitution.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the brave FGM activists and campaigners doing tremendous work helping to educate, change attitudes and protect women in Somalia.
“Education is the only solution to rid our country and protect our young girls from this barbaric act. There is a lot of work to be done by the government, NGOs and Somali communities to change social attitudes and cultural practices. Somali women and men must unite to protect the rights of our young girls.”
Speaking at FGM Conference in Djibouti, Minister for Women and Human Rights, Khadija Mohamed Diriye, said:
“My Ministry will take every step to protect and strengthen the rights of women and young girls.
“We are committed to ending this horrific assault on young women. Providing the education and alternate livelihoods for FGM practitioners as well as working with community leaders to raise awareness of the short term and long term physical harm FGM causes.”