Last week, a 10-year-old Somali girl died after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). The girl died of blood loss, two days after being taken to a traditional cicumcisor. But the girl's father, Dahir Nur, defends the practice despite her daughter's death. Mr Nur said people in Somalia were 'content' with the practice, which is widespread in the country. Doctors in the town of Dusamareb said the girl had been brought to hospital after undergoing the procedure in a village 25 miles away.
Mr Nur told Voice of America, "Her mother consented to it. We have seen the effects but it's a culture in the country we live in." Dr Abdirahman Omar Hassan, director of Hanano hospital in the city of Dhusamareb told VoA he had never seen 'anyone who was mutilated like that in my life'. Dr Hassan, who was on the team who tried to save the girl, revealed she had caught tetanus, most likely from the understerilised equipment used during the original procedure.
Mr Nur also said that he did not want to pursue charges and held no one to blame for his daughter's death. Hawa Aden Mohamed, director of women's rights group Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development pointed out even if he did, it would be largely meaningless. She told Reuters, "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. This is just one among many cases happening on a daily basis across Somalia."
Somalia's constitution prohibits FGM, but efforts to pass legislation to punish offenders have been stalled by parliamentarians afraid of losing powerful Muslim vote banks who support FGM and view it as a part of their tradition. According to the UN, 98% of women between 15 and 49 have been subjected to the ritual in Somalia.