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Somalia: Girl Dies After Female Genital Mutilation Amid COVID-Related Uptick in Cases

Somalia: Girl Dies After Female Genital Mutilation Amid COVID-Related Uptick in Cases

A 13-year-old girl bled to death earlier this month in the Somalian village of Jeerinle, about 360 miles northeast of the capital, Mogadishu, after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). Fartun Hassan Ahmed’s case, the first reported FGM fatality in Somalia since the death of a 10-year-old in 2018, was brought to light by the Global Media Campaign, a London-based organization that is working to put a stop to the practice, which is legal in Somalia. It is estimated that 98% of girls and women in Somalia undergo FGM, most before the age of 10. According to the UN Population Fund, school closures, lockdowns, and reduced outreach by anti-FGM campaigners due to the novel coronavirus has put more girls at risk of mutilation. It is estimated that 4 million girls around the world will undergo FGM this year.

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