Two Somali girls have bled to death after undergoing female circumcision in the north of the country, a women’s rights campaigner says.
The sisters, 10-year-old Asiya Abdi Warsame and 11-year-old Khadija, underwent female genital mutilation in a village in Puntland state and died the same day from severe bleeding, anti-FGM campaigner Hawa Aden told dpa on Sunday.
“In Somalia FGM often causes a host of health harms where some girls may bleed to death or die from infections,” said Hawa Aden, who is the director of a local women’s NGO.
FMG, prevalent mainly in parts of Africa and the Middle East, is legal in Muslim-majority Somalia, where UNICEF says the practice is nearly universal.
The practice, which is internationally considered a human rights abuse, involves partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and makes urination, sexual intercourse and childbirth extremely painful.
In countries like Somalia, a girl who is not circumcised may face social stigma and not be considered for marriage.
About 200 million girls and women around the world have been affected by the practice, according to UNICEF.