Somalia, September 2014
Female Genital Mutilation is the practice, traditional in some cultures, of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for nonmedical reasons. Somalia has one of the highest prevalence rates of circumcision in the world. The operation is performed by traditional practitioners using a knife or razor blade on girls from the age of 4 onwards. Girls often die due to excessive bleeding, infections or complications later in life during child birth.
In 2012, the new Somali Constitution outlawed all forms of FGM/ C. In Puntland, Muslim leaders passed a religious ruling banning all forms of FGM/C which was followed by a Presidential Decree in 2014.
UNICEF has approached FGM/C in Somalia from religious, medical, community and cultural perspectives. They have worked with religious leaders to help dispel the widespread misconception that it is an Islamic expectation and duty.