A 10-year-old Somalia girl reportedly died in hospital just two days after undergoing genital mutilation.
In a report, the Somalia-based Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development said that the girl was brought by her mother to the hospital after undergoing genital mutilation in her village in Olol, which is reportedly about 65 kilometers from central Galmudug state in Somalia.
“The woman who performed the operation has not been arrested, but even if she was, there is no law that would ensure she is punished for the act,” said activist Hawa Aden Mohamed of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development.
Somalia has the highest incident of female genital mutilation in all 28 countries in Africa where this is considered as a “social ritual.”
Most of the deaths that resulted from female genital mutilation are due to shock, hemorrhage, or septicemia, said the Unicef.
The practice of female genital mutilation has been facing international outcry, with various human rights groups calling for its stopping. More than just the physical pain, there are long-term physiological, sexual, psychological effects as well.
“It was very terrible. I can never forget that,” a victim of a female genital mutilation told Unicef, adding that while many knows that it is “dangerous and brings difficult births,” they remain adamant about it.
“My mother knows there are problems, but she believes it is a rule. She thinks it is shameful to live with the genital area open. She will always insist that we have to close it,” the victim said.
Unicef said that the struggle to end the practice of female genital mutilation begins in addressing the cultural discrimiation of those who did not undergo such rite.
“While UNICEF is firmly committed to respecting the cultural identity and traditions of the countries in which it works, it is clear about the unacceptability of traditional practices that violate human rights, and specifically the rights of children. Action on eliminating harmful traditional practices is specifically mandated by the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and FGM is clearly such a practice,” the Unicef report read.
Meanwhile, netizens were quick to slam the death of the 10-year-old girl.
“OMG. This is such a barbaric practice. And for what? so only men get pleasure. Awful, poor girl,” a tweet read.
Another tweet said that this practice is meant to “subjugate women” and that it is “dehumanizing.”