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Somaliland Make FGM Mandatory…

A woman participates in a discussion about FGM in Somalia
A woman participates in a discussion about FGM in Somalia (Photo: Nichole Sobecki/AFP/Getty Images)
The government of Somaliland issued a fatwa (religious edict) making female genital mutilation (FGM)mandatory for all females.
Somaliland is an autonomous area inside Somalia, a country where 98 percent of women and girls have been cut.
At the same time, the Somaliland government banned the two most extreme forms of FGM (see below).
Meanwhile in Switzerland, the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland recently issued a legal opinion saying Islamic law justifies the practice of FGM and that it is not harmful to girls. FGM is illegal in Switzerland and any type of cutting is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
FGM refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and/or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons.
The practice has serious and permanent negative impacts on the heath and sexuality of women and girls, including, in the short term, severe pain and bleeding, infection and urinary disturbances. Long-term effects include complications during childbirth,  anemia, the formation of cysts and abscesses, keloid scar formation, damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence, painful sexual intercourse and sexual dysfunction, hypersensitivity, increased risk of HIV transmission, as well as serious psychological effects.
FGM is classified as follows by the World Health Organization:
Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the clitoral hood
Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.
Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and re-positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora. This can take place with or without removal of the clitoris.
Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping or cauterization.
Watch a clip from Clarion Project’s film Honor Diaries  about FGM:

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