Somalia: Origins of Female Genital mutilation


By Yussuf haret 

Nairobi (NSH)-Somali history of FGM practice goes back to 1609, as reported by a local media that a group near moqadisho, Somalia had the custom to sew up their females, especially young slaves to make them unable for conception which makes their price higher and creates confidence for buying master due to chastity situation of young female slave.

The practice is supported by traditional beliefs, values and attitudes that it is a means of preserving girl’s virginity untill marriage . FGM is a pre-requisite to marriage to marriage and marriage is avital to women’s social and economic survival and they believe that if their daughter is not circumcised would not get a husband and this harmful traditional has been guided by taboos from generation to generation.

In somali community, they generally beliefs and agree upon that FGM practice is culturally rooted, there are others who do it for religious reasons, however, female circumcision has not been throughly confirmed as a religious obligations, there are some religious sheikhs who refer hadith and refer FGM as sunnah.

There are some reasons why FGM is practiced today is a mix of culture, religious, social factors within families and communities.

First, the scientific definition of FGM is the total or partial cutting or excision of the external genitalia.

In medical view of the natural functions for which these organs were created are: they protect genital organs, the natural secretions facilitate sexual intercourse and the close relationship between two parties, they facilitate the attainment of sexual satisfaction by the female which is a legitimate human rights they help dorect expulsion of urine away from the body, thereby maintaining cleanliness of organs, in the physical, it’s expose girl child and later the women to numerous health consequences and risk that persist for their lives, while in the psychological and social consequences.

According to the health consequences of the FGM practice on the women and girl health, if there is an obligation and not mentioned in the quran, its needed to abandon FGM and leave the girls as Allah created.

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