Sudan makes a great leap towards Gender Equality by criminalizing FGM

Saturday 2 May 2020
Khartoum, Saturday 2 May, 2020.
Save the Children welcomes Transitional Government’s decision of passing article 141 to the Sudanese Criminal law, aimed at criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The decision complements government efforts to adhere to its international commitment and advance girls’ rights in country. 
Female Genital Mutilation is a grave violation of basic human rights and a dangerous contravention of women's physical integrity.
We appreciate the actions the Sudanese government has taken to adopt new laws to prevent and to criminalize this practice. We will continue supporting the government in the fight against FGM, and providing prevention, protection and care services, raising awareness on its consequences, and developing capacities across the country.
This practice is not only a violation of every girl child’s rights, it has serious consequences for a girl’s physical and mental health. None should see them subjected to any kind of act which affects girl’s physical and mental health or abuse under any circumstances, we will keep doing our best to bring the voice of girls from Sudan to advocate for their rights and wellbeing.”  Said Arshad Malik – Save the Children Country Director in Sudan
87% of Sudanese women aged between 14 and 49 have undergone some form of FGM. Efforts from various rights groups has resulted in a great decline in the practice for girls under 14 years old, Laws criminalizing FGM was also introduces in 4 states across Sudan with the highest perveance of FGM in the past few years.
Introducing a national Law is considered a great step towards eradicating the practice, as will represent a strong base for activation of a national strategy. Yet, FGM is embedded in culture and social norms, efforts should continue in increasing community awareness on the harmful practice, along with efforts aimed at bridging the gender gap that encourages communities to adopt harmful traditional practices targeting women and girls. Moreover, law enforcers, judges and community leaders should be trained and aware of the new law to insure effective activation.
Save the Children is committed to support government, partners and communities to fight all forms of discrimination against women and girls.