9 February 2012

Sudan: Three Million Girls Await Knife

Juba — UNICEF has stated that an estimated three million girls will be subjected to female circumcision in Sudan.

The treasurer of the National Council for Child Welfare, Mr Gamar Habbani, called it a "massacre promoted by traditions" in a workshop led by UNICEF and the National Council on Tuesday.

It is estimated that 90 per cent of Sudanese women faced one of the four types of female circumcision until the late 1990s, with pharaonic circumcision, the most severe type, being very widespread. UNICEF estimates that about 140 million girls in the world, almost all in Africa and some parts of the Middle East had to undergo the procedure.

Reducing sexual desire?

Female circumcision is when a part of the female genitalia is excised. It is mostly practiced in North and East Africa in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.

The Sudanese society believes that FC reduces the sexual desire of a girl and makes her pure and a virgin until marriage. However, it has many serious health problems and causes complications during pregnancy.

The first movement against FC was in the 18th century by a religious Sheikh named Hassan Wad Hossona. In 1946, Sudan, still under British administration, banned circumcision, however, the law has never been implemented.

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