Bringing an End to Female Genital Mutilation in the Sudan
Sudan Minister of Justice and Attorney General
FORWARD & Sudan For All
More Info at:
Minister of Justice and Attorney General,
Ministry of Justice,
PO BOX 744,
19th December 2005.
Dear Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mr. Mohammed Ali Almardi,
Re: Bringing an End to Female Genital Mutilation: Let Us Ensure that a Little Sudanese Girl did not Die In Vain.
We write to appeal to you, in your position as Minister of Justice and Attorney General to take immediate action to eliminate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Sudan, in all its forms.
As you may be aware, recently on December 6th, another innocent little girl lost her life to the brutality of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). A doctor at Khartoum Bahari Hospital to which the victim, four year old Enaam Abdelwahab from Abu- Deleeg was submitted, reported that she died due to excessive bleeding and blood poisoning after being submitted to this cruel tradition.
The sad and unfortunate incident was widely reported in the Sudanese press yet sadly such needless deaths are by no means uncommon occurrences. Whilst Sudan has had a law since 1946 now banning the most severe form of FGM the law is clearly insufficient as it does not ban all forms of FGM, and as it has failed to prevent the tragic death of this little girl. It has also failed to protect Sudanese girls and women at large, for an estimated 89 per cent of Sudanese women are subjected to FGM, and mostly to the most severe form, type 3 which is known as Pharonic Circumcision.
As a result of little Enaams death on December 14th a group of Sudanese civil society organisations led by the Sudanese Nurses Union took to the streets in Khartoum to protest against Enaams death. They marched from the hospital in which she died, to the Ministry of Justice, to demand a law specifically banning all forms of FGM in Sudan. This clearly shows that there is public support in Sudan for the elimination of all forms of FGM and we write to you to demand a law is passed and enforced to prohibit all forms of FGM in Sudan as a matter of urgency.
We remind you of the responsibilities the Government of Sudan has to protect the human rights of girls and women, outlined in numerous International Declarations and Conventions, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). In relation to the latter, the Government of Sudan, having ratified the convention has committed itself to: ensure the child protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being.
We urge you to live up to these international obligations, as well as to ensure that adequate care and support is provided to girls and women who have undergone FGM.
Another clear indication of International support for the elimination of FGM is the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa which entered into force on November 25th of this year. The Protocol calls for the elimination of all forms of gender based violence and explicitly prohibits FGM. We are aware that the Sudanese government has so far failed to become party to this Protocol and we urge you to take this important step towards the elimination of gender discrimination.
We trust that you will do everything in your power to bring an end to the death and suffering of girls and women in Sudan due to FGM and thank you in advance for your actions.