In Sudan infibulation becomes a crime


On the 30th of April , an historic change occurred in Sudan.
The transitional government, which succeeded the dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2019, announced a ban on infibulation to the detriment of women and girls, punished up to three years in prison.
According to the UN, infibulation was suffered by the 88% of Sudanese women between 15 and 49.

Infibulation is an invalidating practice that involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia.
Most Sudanese women experience what the World Health Organization calls type 3 circumcision, an extreme form of mutilation in which the inner and outer labia are removed, and usually also the clitoris.

This practice is deeply rooted in the culture of the country and the law will have to deal with different realities in which the traditional belief is that it guarantees the honour of the family and the opportunity of a marriage, although it can cause infections, infertility or complications during childbirth and, in some cases, even death, greatly reducing sexual pleasure.
The law will be included in a new article of the criminal code which refers to chapter 14 of the constitutional declaration on rights and freedoms approved in August 2019.

There are many strong testimonies of the victims of infibulation, women, girls and little girls who have suffered pain, often forced by the mothers themselves, victims in childhood in turn.

This new law marks a significant step towards the recognition of essential humanrights that were denied in the name of ancient traditions.
Steadfast Onlus sees in this change a good sign, hoping that it will be a further step towards a new culture where the figure of the woman is not violated but exalted.

Emmanuele Di Leo

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