FGM in the Sudan

In the Sudan it is very common for women to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) with more than 2/3 of its women having done so. “The clitoris is dirty. If you undergo FGM you become clean.” This is the attitude of most women in Sudan and most women affected do not regard it as mutilation. The procedure is normally carried out by excisors or circumcisers with no medical qualifications and it is common for girls to experience chronic pain, serious bleeding or blood poisoning, pain during intercourse and other gynecological problems later in life.

The most common forms of FGM in Sudan are the Pharaonic and Sunna forms. The previous form, called infibulation, is the complete removal of all external sex organs, while the Sunna type is much less extensive. Reinfibulation regularly follows childbirth, and this “re-tightening” is done in order to increase pleasure for the husband. In the article, “Sudan: It takes more than a law to stop the cut,” a women Jibril was interviewed and said that she believed some form of FGM is necessary, despite it being banned. “The Pharaonic one was bad but the Sunna type is better. It should continue,” she said.

Wahid Eldeen Abed Elrahim, the director of the National Council for Child Welfare, works to monitor and encourage the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It took 18 months of advocacy and awareness creation before the FGM Law was passed. Under the new legislation, the penalty for FGM will be 10 years imprisonment and compensation to the family if it caused death. Furthermore, information about the protection against FGM will be issued at the birth of every girl and will be incorporated into the school curriculum. Social worker Huda Gamar Hussien says, “The passing of the law will, however, not change our behaviour overnight. Right now we are seeing movement from the Pharaonic type to Sunna, they maybe later to no FGM at all.”

“Sudan: It takes more than a law to stop the cut.” Humanitarian news and analysis. (Accessed August 8, 2014). http://www.irinnews.org/report/82197/sudan-it-takes-more-than-a-law-to-stop-the-cut

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