Aqeel: Legislation must include deterrent penalties for perpetrators of female genital mutilation
Al-Rifai: The continuation of the phenomenon is inconsistent with the fifth goal of the sustainable development goals
On the International Day against Female Circumcision, which the world celebrates every year on February 6, Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights takes advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness of the seriousness of female circumcision and support the elimination of this harmful and dangerous habit that girls are exposed to, and in particular the Foundation expresses Expresses its concern about the continued increasing rates of female genital mutilation in Somalia.
The Foundation's African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit notes that Somalia has one of the highest rates of FGM in the world, with 98% of girls who undergo it between the ages of 5 and 11, which is a warning sign of the need to take quick action to alleviate its high rates.
With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Somalia, the risks faced by girls and young women who live in fragile and conflict-affected places are multiplying, as the increasing pressures from the health effects exacerbate the suffering of the already weak protection structures for Somali women. Despite this, the practice has remained widespread, and the custom continues to encourage on him.
Ayman Aqil, President of Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, expressed his concern about the continuing operations of circumcision, and called on the Somali government to work on following up the implementation of the recommendations made to it in this regard by the UN human rights mechanisms In particular, the Committee to Combat All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the universal periodic review mechanism. The human rights expert also called on the Somali Parliament to enact deterrent legislation and set penalties for people who practice this scourge.
Sherif Al-Rifai, a researcher at the Foundation's African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit, stated that female circumcision practices in Somalia are an obstacle to achieving the fifth goal of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality, which aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls. Al-Rifai added that continuing dialogue in order to change these bad customary practices is necessary, and with time this dialogue will turn into a real application that saves girls and women from this silent killer of them.
It is worth noting that Somalia and the continent of Africa come within the interest of Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, as it is a member of the General Assembly in the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, and also has observer status in the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, as well as the North African region coordinator in the group of non-governmental organizations. The largest government in Africa of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.