Home | News    Thursday 13 February 2014

FGM on decline in Sudan as attitudes shift: UNICEF


February 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Changing attitudes in Sudan surrounding female genital mutilation (FGM) is helping to reduce the prevalence of the practice, UNICEF says.

JPEG - 50.8 kb
Nearly nine out of 10 Sudanese women aged 15 to 49 have undergone some form of FGM, UNICEF says (ST)

According to the agency, more than 50 per cent of Sudanese women believe the practice should be discontinued amid growing awareness about its health dangers.

UNICEF child protection specialist Abdelraouf Elsiddig Ahmed said a comparison of the 2006 and 2010 Sudanese Household Surveys shows a notable decrease in the practice of cutting.

“For instance, in the 5 to 9 age bracket, 34.5 per cent had been cut in 2010, compared to 41 per cent in 2006. In the next Household Survey, we expect to see a further decrease”, he said.

Nearly nine out of 10 Sudanese women aged 15 to 49 have undergone some form of cutting to various degrees of severity. The procedure, also known as infibulation, or ‘pharaonic circumcision’, is usually performed on underage girls by traditional practitioners, who have no medical training.

Women’s health advocates say the procedure has life-long implications for women, including ongoing infection, infertility, psychological trauma and complications during childbirth.

In Eastern Sudan’s Kassala state, 78.9 per cent of girls and women have undergone the procedure – the third-highest prevalence in the country, according to the 2010 Sudan Household Health Survey.

The origins of the practice is steeped in traditional and societal ideals of beauty and cleanliness, religion and morality, and is also used as a method of stifling female libido.

The Sudanese government has introduced stiff penalties for those who continue to perform the procedure, however, the practice, which is still not criminalised by law in Sudan, remains widespread, particularly in rural communities.

The eradication of FGM is further complicated by cultural and societal pressures, as well as religious sensitivities surrounding the issue.

UNICEF is providing support for a national strategy to abolish FGM known as the Saleema initiative. Conceived in 2008, the campaign is being supervised by the National Council on Child Welfare.

The campaign slogan ‘Saleema’, meaning ‘whole’ or ‘intact’, is used to signify that a girl should remain the way she was born and attempts to promote the positive aspects and health benefits of not performing FGM on girls.

However, despite an extensive media campaign, the strategy has been criticised by some advocates for being too vague as it does not directly refer to FGM.

An estimated 125 million girls women and girls are thought to have undergone FGM in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 13 February 2014 08:52, by Tata

    They will campaign against male circumcision tomorrow after they succeed to completely stop female circumcision. Sudanese women have been circumcised since time immemorial. However, they continue to enjoy their lives and deliver a football team plus referee and flag bearers (14 children). Was Sudanese community born yesterday after FAO formation? Useless!

    repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

SOUTH SUDAN: peace or genocide? 2015-10-07 12:59:30 By Richard Moula President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has once again declared a war of genocide and ethnic cleansing on the small ethnic tribe of Moru in Western Equatoria. As from 16th (...)

G-10 critique of establishment order is a complete baloney 2015-10-07 12:59:22 By Gordon Buay Muolana John Luk must be joking to argue that the Establishment Order that created the 28 states violated South Sudan Transitional Constitution without admitting that the (...)

Why rejecting creation of more states in South Sudan? 2015-10-05 16:31:37 By Peter Gai Manyuon South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has unilaterally decreed expansion of the current Ten (10) states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)

Ambassador Buay congratulates South Sudanese diplomats for blocking sanctions 2015-09-19 00:20:30 SOUTH SUDAN DIPLOMATS IN MOSCOW SHOULD BE CONGRATULATED FOR PERSUADING THE FEDERATION OF RUSSIA TO BLOCK SANCTIONS For Immediate Release 9/18/2015 The people of South Sudan are extremely (...)

HRW urges African Union and United Nations to protect civilians in Darfur 2015-09-10 07:10:11 Sudan: Special Force Rampages in Darfur UN, AU Should Urgently Increase Civilian Protection (New York, September 9, 2015) – A Sudanese government special force has gone on two sprees of killings (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.