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Somali women demanded an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia and all Somali communities, upon the conclusion of a two day women's conference held in the Garowe, the administrative capital of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
The participants of the conference, who hailed from southern Somalia, Puntland, Somaliland, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, described FGM as inhumane and called on governments to outlaw the practice.
Puntland senior officials, including Vice President Abdismed Ali Shire and Minister of Women and Family Affairs Ashe Gele Dirie, also attended the closing ceremony on Wednesday and addressed the meeting.
“The rights of Somali women rights are violated when their bodies subjected to mutilation, and now we stand up for the stopping of this inhuman and uncivilized act," said Minister Dirie.
“The government of Puntland outlawed FGM after long discussions with traditional and religious leaders and scholars and I am pleased that our parliament had enacted a bill which outlaws the practice of FGM in Puntland,” said Puntland's vice president.
The Puntland parliament passed a bill which outlawed the FGM in the state in late November after a preliminary conference in July.
Despite the bill, the practice continues and the conference was designed to ensure the bill is implemented throughout Puntland. The Somali participants endorsed nine steps to eliminate the FGM from the region:
1- The elimination of FGM in Somali communities;
2- Holding serious symposiums in which traditional and religious leaders discourage the practicing of FGM;
3- Full-scale anti FGM awareness campaigns to be launched in all Somali inhabited territories;
4- Discouraging and anti FGM lessons to be added the curriculums of governments;
5- Creation of skills for the women who mutilate the female genital organs for stopping of the FGM;
6- The governments should outlaw all forms of FGM and in their territories;
7- Funds for anti FGM programs to be collected and these programs to be implemented in cities, village and remote areas;
8- Establishment of good working relationship between the participants of Garowe Somali Women's Conference;
9- Establishments of medical facilities for the victims of FGM.