A 10-year-old girl from Somali bled to death after undergoing female genital mutilation, according to The Associated Press. The girl was taken by her mother to a traditional circumciser on Saturday in a remote village outside Dhusamareb town in central Galmudug town in central Galmudug state and died on Monday, said Hawa Aden Mohamed, an activist with the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development in a statement. It is a rare confirmed death in the country with the world's highest rate of the practice.
"The circumciser is suspected to cut an important vein in the course of the operation," Mohamed said. According to the United Nations, about 98% of women and girls in the Horn of Africa nation undergo female genital mutilation. Mohamed said while Somalia's constitution prohibits the practice, no laws have been enacted to ensure that those who perform the circumcisions are punished. The activist said, "Lawmakers are afraid of losing their political clout among the all-powerful conservative traditional and religious groups bent at retaining the practice."
Brendan Wynne with the New York-based Donor Direct Action, which connects women's activists worldwide, said, "Despite campaigns in Somalia against the practice it is clouded in secrecy, so reducing it has been a massive challenge." In most cases, the external genitalia is removed and the vagina is sewn almost closed. Over 200 million women and girls in 30 countries across three continents have experienced genital mutilation, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said earlier this year, calling it a 'gross violation of the human rights of women and girls'.
FGM is performed in an attempt to control a female's sexual desires and the procedure involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reason. It is primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The practice reflects inequality between the sexes and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.