Sudan bans female genital mutilation

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By BBC Africa

Sudan has criminalised female genital mutilation (FGM) and imposed a three-year prison sentence for offenders, according to a newly amended law.

The procedure is the cutting or removal of a female's external genitalia. It often involves the removal or cutting of the labia and clitoris.

The amendment to the criminal law was approved on 22 April, the Reuters news agency reports.

Sudan is one of the African nations where FGM is believed to be highly prevalent.

The procedure is practised in at least 27 African countries, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

But its has been prohibited in numerous others countries including Kenya, Mauritania, Mali, Liberia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Nigeria.

Types of FGM

  • Type one: Clitoridectomy - partial or total removal of the clitoris
  • Type two: Excision - removal of the clitoris and inner labia (lips), with or without the outer labia
  • Type three: Infibulation - cutting, removal of part or all of external genitalia and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening
  • Type four: Any other type of intentional damage to the female genitalia (burning, scraping, piercing)


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