I am heartbroken and outraged at the terrible news that a young Somali girl, only 10 years old, has died from severe bleeding after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). Reported by Samulkan Media Group the girl died in Dhusamareb village, 511km away from Mogadishu.
Only recently I spoke out about the abuse and injustice that our girls continue to suffer, and I asked the question how many must die before our voices are heard and we are protected from harm. Today I ask that question again. How can it be acceptable in any society for girls to be needlessly abused and killed simply for being a girl? In the next year more than 3 million girls are at risk from FGM. That is one girl every eleven seconds.
This news was especially hard to hear today as I am in Kenya, meeting with activists from across the country who are working to end FGM. Those of us working against FGM support and sustain each other and it is uplifting to hear about each other’s stories where a girl was saved from the cut or a village has abandoned FGM. However, we also share many terrible stories from our work and for some of us personal experiences of the pain and suffering resulting from FGM. Today this news from Somalia adds to that and in memory of this girl and the many others who have died or suffered we will renew our commitment and effort to end FGM wherever it takes place.
Please support those working to protect girls from FGM, support survivors and who are challenging governments to take action to end the practice. Together we can and must stop this abuse and ensure justice for all our girls.