A Somalian father, Dahir Nur, who is the father of a 10 year-old girl has defended the practice of female genital mutilation after his daughter undergoing the act passed on. Dahir Nur’s daughter died of blood loss on 17 July, two days after being taken to a traditional circumciser. Speaking wih Voice of America (VOA), he disclosed “people in the area are content” with FGM even considering the dangers, adding it is the country’s “culture”. The Somalia constitution prohibits albeit not outlawing the practice which involves the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and can cause profound health problems. Director of Hanano Hospital, Dr Abdirahman Omar Hassan, told VOA he had never seen “anyone who was mutilated like that in my life”. The doctor who was on the team who tried to save the girl, also revealed she had caught tetanus, most likely from the unsterilised equipment used during the original procedure. In all these, Mr Nur said he’s not going to pursue charges and he’s not blaming anyone for his daughter’s death. Hawa Aden Mohamed, director of women’s rights group Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD), pointed out even if he did, it would be largely meaningless. “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,” she told news agency Reuters. “This is just one among many cases happening on a daily basis across Somalia.” According to UNICEF, 98% of girls and women in Somalia have undergone FGM. Politicians have stalled efforts to criminalise FGM in the country, who fear it will alienate voters who believe it is a religious requirement, while girls who have not undergone it are reportedly taunted for not being cut.
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