from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM – THE recent passing of a law to criminalise female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sudan is a milestone in the country’s efforts to advance the rights of women and children.
Children’s rights groups have welcomed the move saying it would make a huge difference in the lives of millions of girls.
“We appreciate the actions the Sudanese government has taken to adopt new laws to prevent and to criminalize this practice,” Arshad Malik, Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan, said.
Malik said they would continue to support the Sudanese government in the fight against FGM.
“In doing so, will continue to provide FGM prevention, protection and care services, and continue to raise awareness on the impact of FGM on girls, in order to eradicate this practice once and for all.”
Save the Children is campaigning to end FGM across 21 countries in Africa.
Malik decried the practice as a grave violation of basic human rights and a dangerous contravention of the physical integrity of girls and women.
FGM refers to the removal of all, or part, of the female external genitalia.
It is also known as ‘female genital cutting’ or ‘female circumcision’.
FGM can cause a range of health problems, such as severe bleeding, problems urinating, cysts and infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
It is prevalent in Sudan where 87 percent of women aged between 14 and 49 have undergone the rite.
– CAJ News