UNICEF

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.

unicef

  • A security guard patrols a ward maternity unit of Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu. Kate Holt.
  • Sarah Mowlid Mohammed grips her hands tight as she tells her story at her home in the Shabelle IDP settlement in Garowe. Kate Holt.
  • The mother of Sophia Abdi Razak Abdi poses for a photograph at her home in the Shabelle IDP settlement in Garowe. Kate Holt.
  • Portraits of people involved with UNICEFS campaign to combat FGM in the Shabelle IDP settlement in  Garowe. Kate Holt.
  • A young girl poses for a photograph in the Shabelle IDP settlement in Garowe, Somalia Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Kate Holt.
  • Lynn Aden Abdi , who was a cutter, poses for a photograph in the Shabelle IDP settlement in  Garowe, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • Rahmo Hassan Aden, who has lost three chidren during child birth because of FGM, poses for a photograph with her baby. Kate Holt.
  • Sarah Mowlid Mohammed does her homework at her home  in the Shabelle IDP settlement in  Garowe, Somalia Tuesday. Kate Holt.
  • Sophia Abdi Razak Abdi poses for a photograph at her home in the Shabelle IDP settlement in  Garowe, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • Abdi Saman, A community leader who advocates against FGM, poses for a photograph at a community meeting. Kate Holt.
  • Women sit in a community meeting, organised by UNICEF,  to raise awareness about the dangers of FGM in the Shabelle. Kate Holt.
  • Women sit in a community meeting, organised by UNICEF,  to raise awareness about the dangers of FGM while a community mobiliser. Kate Holt.
  • Children collect rubbish in a dust storm in the Shabelle IDP settlement in  Garowe, Somalia Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Kate Holt.
  • A woman sleeps in a female ward in Benadir Hospital. Many women undergo severe problems in child birth. Kate Holt.
  • A newborn baby lies in the maternity unit of Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu. Many women undergo severe problems in child birth. Kate Holt.