The father of a 10-year-old girl who died after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia has come out in defense of the practice.

Dahir Nur’s daughter died of blood loss on 17 July, two days after being taken to a traditional circumciser.
According to Unicef, 98% of girls and women in Somalia have undergone FGM.

This is despite Somalia’s constitution prohibiting – although not outlawing – the practice, which involves the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and can cause profound health problems.

Mr Nur said he did not want to pursue charges, and held no one to blame for his daughter’s death.

Efforts to criminalize FGM in Somalia have been stalled by politicians, who fear it will alienate voters who believe it is a religious requirement, while girls who have not undergone it are reportedly taunted for not being cut.

 

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