Monday, June 26, 2006
Somali man jailed in Sweden on female genital mutilation charges.
Swedish citizen Ali Elmi Hayow of Somali origin was sentenced to spend four years in prison for forcing his daughter to be circumsized back in 2001. He was also convicted of failing to obtain an approval from his ex-wife prior to making the trip with their children.
The little girl's lawyer were adamant that the father held her down while two other people were performing the operation, despite the dangers involved in the risky practice.
Female genital mutilation is widespread across the world but especially in Africa where the practice goes as far back as ancient Egypt. And it pre-dates Islam in most countries. Although the practice is now banned in most African countries, some traditions just never die.
The practice consists of removing the clitoris, stitching up the "lips" and leaving a small hole just to allow urine and menstrual blood to flow through. It is believed that the practice is meant to keep women chaste and faithful to their husband and some believe that it's also a way of giving maximum pleasure to the husband due to a tightened vagina.
It is estimated that 130 million women have under gone FGM in Africa, the Middle East and some Asian countries, and some 3 million women and girls are mutilated each year, according to the World Health Organisation.