Engaging Religious Leaders towards Ending FGM

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a violation of human rights of women and girls. The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls and the convention on the rights of the child called on states parties to eliminate harmful traditional practices, and the African union protocol on the rights of women in Africa explicitly calls on states to prohibit and condemn FGM through awareness creation and enacting of law in order to eliminate the practice.

In this context, and the fact that Candlelight is convinced the importance of religious and cultural leaders’s roles among the communities, the project staff conducted two days of workshop to engage Sheikh district religious leaders towards ending female genital mutilation as an effective strategies to eradicate FGM/C.

Strong evidences de-linking the practice from Islam as well as the human rights that the practice is violating has been presented. The health complications caused by female mutilations was also discussed. During the workshop, video clip of Sheik Dirir, who is one of the most influential Sheiks in Somaliland was played for the participants to further support the evidences de-linking the practice from Islam. At the end, action plans were developed by the participants pledging to preach in Mosque against FGM/C back to their community.