MAJOR VICTORY FOR WOMEN IN SUDAN, FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION IS OUTLAWED
Recently, there was a dramatic victory for women's rights in Sudan. Sudan's new government outlawed the appalling practice of female genital mutilation in July of 2020. The dangerous practice of FGM (female genital mutilation) was common and widespread before its removal. Thankfully, now anyone in Sudan who performs female genital mutilation will be required to face “a possible three-year prison term and a fine” under this amendment to Sudan's Criminal Code (Walsh).
Female genital mutilation is a horrific procedure that involves either partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. About nine in ten Sudanese women have been submitted to the most extensive form of the practice, which has, in some cases, led to fatal health conditions. Genital mutilation is also practiced in many other countries other than Sudan, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Djibouti, and Senegal. The practice is also observed around parts of Asia and the Middle East.
In 2016, Mr. al-Bashir, who was the Sudan’s ruler for three decades, tried to initiate a national law banning FGM. But his attempt failed because of disapproval from religious authorities. This practice is condoned by certain Islamic societies and some Christian and animist groups. In many countries, this practice is associated with cultural and religious beliefs. Female genital mutilation is seen as a tradition and even supported by both women and men from different religions. However, many religious scholars believe FGM has no justification in Islam.
The law passed will help protect women. Before the passing of this law, mothers were afraid to reject having this practice done to their daughters; now, mothers can confidently say no. Overall, outlawing FGM was an amazing success that will help further women's rights and stop the practice’s spread.
Bartlett, Anne. University of New South Wales. “Female circumcision: why bans are no panacea.” Female Circumcision Panacea, Medical X Press, 2020.
Walsh, Declan. “In a Victory for Women in Sudan, Female Genital Mutilation Is Outlawed.” New York Times, 30th April 2020.