12, Feb 2018 | CJP Team
The Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that Somaliland’s ministry of religious affairs has issued a fatwa (a religious directive) banning female genital mutilation (FGM). The fatwa said that those performing FGM would be punished, and that victims could be entitled to compensation. Ayan Mahamoud, Somaliland’s representative to Britain told the Thomson Reuters Foundation “The reason that this harmful practice has existed for so long is that people believe it is because our religion or culture dictates that we should do it”. She added,”The fatwa is basically a message from the government to everyone in Somaliland that there is no religious or cultural basis for FGM”. A bill prohibiting the practice is reportedly anticipated in parliament in coming weeks. The fatwa applies to a type of FGM, called infibulation, which involves removal of the outer genitalia and sewing the vaginal opening shut. Infibulation is the most common type of FGM practised in Somaliland. According to the United Nations, the country has the highest rate of FGM in the world.