Somaliland: Somali Women Break Silence on FGM

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FGMA group of Somali women have taken a stand to speak for themselves and their fellow women in general back home on issues surrounding the female genital mutilation (FGM).A United Kingdom-based charity – UKaid funded Girls’ Club is providing a platform for young Somali women to speak out and engage on issues surrounding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and violence against women.

According to the projectors, on Tuesday, the club has helped us learn a lot about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Sexual Reproductive Health, Gender-Based Violence and the risks of early marriage.

“These were very sensitive issues to talk about with the other girls and the whole community, but now we share experiences and encourage our school mates to stay in school,â€� says Fatha; one of the beneficiaries of Sahil Girls’ club, implemented by the Health Poverty Action (HPA) and funded by UKaid.

The club was formed to educate adolescent girls on issues around Female Genital Mutilation and Gender Based Violence. FGM remains a taboo subject in Somaliland, where around 98 percent of women have undergone the practice.

Violence against women is also common, and communities are often reluctant to discuss these and other sensitive subjects such as sexual and reproductive health.

To address these issues, HPA has created four school girls’ clubs in the Sahil region of Somaliland. These clubs reach 133 girls and offer a platform to educate the girls on FGM, sexual and reproductive health and early marriage. The girls are then encouraged to carry out sessions themselves with their peers, both boys and girls.

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