Ministry of Health (MOH), international and UN agencies (UNDP, Action aid and ISF), NAFIS member organizations and other key stakeholders organized a high level commemoration event for the international day of Zero Tolerance to FGM/C (6 February) in Hargeisa .
Female genital mutilation (FGM/C) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. 6 February is the international day of advocating to end this practice globally.
The international theme of this year (2017) is "Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM/C by 2030" BUT in Somaliland the stakeholders agreed that the local theme should be 'advocating the adoption of national Anti-FGM/C policy within this year"
The following key speeches were presented in the event held in Hargeisa by the different Ministries and other officials:
Ms. Luul Aden Geedi the director of Social affairs of MOLSA welcomed the participants and briefly explained the reasons for advocating to end FGM/C in Somaliland, highlighliting why FGM/C has to be marked among the key national priorities of this nation (Somaliland).
Ms. Khadra Omer Hassan NAFIS chairperson appreciates the participants for their efforts to end FGM/C and stated that it’s great day for anti-FGM/C stakeholders, that the Anti-FGM/C campaign has been active in the last 25 years, we are at the stage of outlawing the practice by creating mass voices against the practice by the all stakeholders. FGM/C is a national epidemic which affected all Somali women and girls urge the Ministries, religious leaders and traditional leaders to address it as a national epidemic’.
At the conclusion Mrs. Khadra affirmed the NAFIS statement about this issue in these years which are:
- NAFIS is urging the ongoing debate and consultations between the civil society, medical doctors, religious leaders and Ministries, which is led by the Ministry of religious affairs to come up with a clear position by the religious leaders to save our girls from the above mentioned harms:
- - The policy makers to discuss and adopt the draft national Anti-FGM/C policy that will lead to effective interventions by the various stakeholders at all levels for total abandonment of FGM/C in Somaliland.
- - The legislatures to outlaw the FGM/C practice which contravenes the laws of the Republic of Somaliland and the human rights instruments which the constitution recognizes.
- - The Government to include FGM/C in the national education curriculum for midwifery and nursing. this is because the obstetrical management for infibulated women is important and often difficult for those that have not had this type of exposure in their trainings.
- - The Religious and Traditional leaders to spearhead engaging the community to abandon the current practice which contravenes the Holy Quran that recognizes the equal status of men and women in the eyes of Allah. In addition, the Sharia law that prohibits inflicting harm/ injuries upon health.
- - The health-care providers to prevent Medicalization of FGM/C and play an important role in explaining the complications of FGM/C on girls and women to their clients.
- - The youth, parents, media, opinion leaders, men and women to save the girls and women from harm and lifelong suffering through collective responsibility to abandon the practice of FGM/C.
Sheikh Suleiman Saed Ali the Director General of the Ministry of Religion Affairs stated that Pharaonic circumcision is not permissible in Islam and harms. Woman reproductive organs which can result women to ask for compensation since some of their important organs are cut. The Director General added that ‘the ministry of religious affairs in collaboration with NAFIS Network is currently facilitating dialogues among religious leaders to come up with a common stand towards FGM/C in Somaliland’.
Mr. Mohamed Adan Elmi the Director General of Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs urged the stakeholders to commit to the efforts to end FGM/C, since the government is willing to put pressure and spent more energy to end this harmful practice. He particularly requested the mothers to protect the rights of their daughters from this practice since it has no benefit, but harms them.
H.E. Mr. Hassan Dahir Dhimbil the Vice Minister of Health stated that the Ministry of health does not permit any health service provider to perform this practice at all.
In the closing remarks H.E. Mr. Abdi Dahir Amud the State Minister of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), acknowledged FGM/C stakeholders especially NAFIS Network and others, for their tireless efforts to end FGM/C in Somaliland. In addition, the minister pledged that they will establish anti-FGM/C committee in each district of Somaliland to support Ant-FGM/C campaign in district level.
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