Type III (infibulation) is the most commonly practised form of female genital cutting (FGC) in Somalia. In more recent years, the UN has observed that there has been a shift towards other types of cutting, however.
FGC in Somalia is frequently performed on girls aged 5-9. This represents a shift in practice. Traditionally, FGC was performed in adolescence as initiation into womanhood.
Traditional practitioners carry out the majority of FGC procedures, although medicalisation of FGC in Somalia increasing.
Legal, although the practice is prohibited under the Somali constitution. Anti-FGC law is pending adoption and there have been promising developments towards criminalisation in Somaliland and Puntland in the north.
It reports prevalence rates as stable (at 98%), when prevalence rates among different age cohorts are compared.
Phase II of the programme (2014-2017) saw 890 communities make declarations of FGC abandonment.
Political instability in the region makes it difficult to conduct co-ordinated NGO or governmental programmes on FGC due to a lack of institutions and infrastructure.
85 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015).
Source: 28 Too Many
732 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015).
Source: 28 Too Many
FGC prevalence in Somalia remains the highest in the world. Rather than complete abandonment, there has been a move away from the most severe form of FGC (Type III). It is unknown whether this shift could lead to total abandonment of the practice.
The central and southern regions of the country have the highest prevalence, at 99.2%. Qualitative data suggests that the practice is in sharp decline in urban areas, according to the most recent UN report.
Officially the Republic of Somaliland, it is a self-declared state which is recognised internationally as autonomous from Somalia.Read Somaliland country profile
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At least 3.9 million girls around the world are currently at risk of being cut every year.
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