6th February of each year is observed as world international Female Genital Mutilation day with the purpose of making people aware of GM and promoting its eradication. SWDC organized two well organized big events in Mogadishu with the aim of mobilizing local communities to combat FGM through a community-based awareness raising programs.
Part I ( Al-cadaala and Walalo Biyole IDP camps)
The event started early morning at 7:00am when two teams consisting of community moblizers and lawyers from SWDC with key international/local TV channels to provide awareness sessions on FGM, also key community leaders, health workers and religious leaders within the IDP camps provided speeches at the two events. The participants (mainly women and children) approximately 400 attended the event, white papers written with anti-FGM slogans were distributed to the beneficiaries in which they marched from a corner to other corner of the camps.
Halima Said “I didn’t think there is a day commemorated for Female Genital Mutilation, I am very happy to hear that and more importantly to hear the word “zero tolerance”, although I am survivor of FGM and I have 4 daughters, I am promising I will never practice FGM to any of my daughters”
Halima and her children during the awareness
Fadumo Abdiqadir Warsame a young mother too also shared how FGM had affected for the worse during the birth of her children. She spoke about the painful procedure endured on her by peer pressure and how only during the birth of her first child she bore the brunt of it all. She too made a vow and even shook hands with SWDC social workers that she would never put the same pain through her daughters
fadumo vowing never to mutilate her daughters
Part II (FGM event at SWDC Compound)
The second event took place at SWDC compound where more than 50 participants from the community members, civil society, and international NGOs attended. The event, which consisted of series of speeches from key influential persons started at 10:00am. Local and international media channels including CCVT, Aljzeera, Press TV, Al’an, Al’arabia, Somali National TV, Somali Channel HIiraan online, Somalitalk, Radio kulmiye, Radio Dalsan have joined the event.
Sheikh Muse Religious leader, thanked to the participants and started explaining FGM in the context of Islam, The Sheikh said” circumcision is permitted in Islamic religion but it is not the way by many people believe which is cutting or mutilation of women’s genital areas. This is bad culture which our society received from their predecessors”, the Sheikh again added “it is Haraam to cut part of somebody’s organs by means of culture and other perceptions”. The sheikh also said “that anyone who remove/cut women’s organs must pay the price of it”.
Mrs Zahra Mohamed Ahmed “FGM is against Islamic religion as well as international law, huge of number of women have suffered from birth to death, some of them even died due many complications caused by FGM. Mrs Zahra also added that Somali is the leading country of practicing FGM, this is unacceptable, and we need to stop it by using any appropriate means”. She suggested that:-
– FGM should be stopped from the community at grassroots
– Provision of public awareness led by key religious leaders, influential community members and traditional elders which will mobilize the community
– Developing legal framework against FGM, this will help reduce the problem in which those practice will be punished.
– Civil society organizations and international NGOs should organize huge campaign
Mrs Zahra also provided an exclusive interview to Alhurra TV in which she spoke to the community at wider perspective
Tahlil(lawyer), thanked SWDC for commemorating this day which is very important for all our society. FGM is bad culture which needed to be eradicated from Somalia. We are leading on the table of world FGM practicing countries which is something beyond acceptable.
Mohamed Omar, Director of Gender from the Ministry of women and human rights, also gave his regards to participants and thanked SWDC for organizding this event this day, he said” it is in the plans of the Somali government to end FGM, though the new cabinets have not yet taken their positions, we will put all our efforts on how we can put into practice the articles in the constitution which bans FGM”
Khadija Mohamed Mohamoud SWDC case worker, gave ant-FGM awareness poem which she portrayed the effects of FGM in the life of the women, Mrs Khadija said:-
Haweenka Soomaliyeed sowdkeega maqla
Saxa iyo qaladka waa kala suura wacanyihiin
Sareedaa idiin wadaa iyo weerayaal sama ah
Waana soo jeedintiyo saxa casharka
Gabdhaha saxadooda sidooda ayey ku wanagsantahay
Saatirkaa u uumay suuradiisa saxda ah
Ee yaa sakiin lagu jarjarin oo silac labadin
Which means in English
Somali women listen to my words
Right and wrong are not same
I have a message and suggestion for you
Girls are good at their natural health status
They have been created by Allah