Somalia has one of the world’s highest rates of Female Genital Mutilation #FGM. In the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland, an estimated 97% of women aged 15 to 49 in Somaliland have suffered FGM. The months of July, August and September for many Somali girls are not filled with summer fun. This time is known informally as "cutting season” when the break from school means girls have time to undergo - and recover from - FGM. Though there is little formally collected data, evidence shows Somali girls are flown in from abroad, from places like Europe, to undergo the procedure, sometimes then to remain and be married off, making FGM a precursor to child marriage. The United Nations Population Fund @UNFPA work with local communities and partners to highlight the physical and psychological damage caused by the practice. These partnerships are now seeing a positive impact.
Assignment for UNFPA. Published in the @Guardian - "The Curse of Blades and Powders: FGM in Somaliland"