Sudan criminalises female genital mutilation (FGM)

As a great relief to the humanitarian concern, the Sudanese government has now criminalised the female genital mutilation (FGM).

The government has approved an amendment to its criminal legislation on April 22. The legislation states that anyone who performs female genital mutilation (FGM) either inside a medical establishment or elsewhere faces three years’ imprisonment and a fine.

Praising the law, Faiza Mohamed, Africa Regional Director for Equality Now, said, “FGM prevalence in Sudan is one of the highest globally. It is now time to use punitive measures to ensure girls are protected from this torturous practice”.

She added, “Having a law against FGM acts as an important deterrent, however, Sudan may face challenges in enforcing legislation. People who still believe in the practice might not report cases or act to stop FGM when they know it is happening.”

Anti-FGM campaigners said criminalization of the internationally condemned practice was a sign of the new government’s commitment towards democracy and equality and it opens a “new era” for women’s rights in the African nation.

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