Puntland is set to pass a historic bill that would see the complete ban of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the state. Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni and his cabinet last week approved the bill to be submitted to parliament that would criminalize the practice.
The FGM Zero Tolerance Bill states that anyone who practices FGM including midwives, hospitals as well as individuals will be penalized.
According to UNFPA, 98% of women and girls in Somalia who are between the ages of 15-49 have undergone some form of FGM.
Following the latest updates in Puntland, UNFPA Representative to Somalia Anders Thomsen expressed that “the approval of the FGM Zero Tolerance Bill is a great milestone. It is expected that this bill, once passed into law, will have a ripple effect in the campaign to end FGM in Puntland”.
There is currently no national law criminalizing FGM in Somalia.