Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is widely practiced throughout 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, although the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the highly dangerous procedure a violation of human rights. During the pandemic, FGM cases skyrocketed to an all-time high in Hargeisa and Somaliland’s second-largest city, Burco.
FGM procedures are normally performed by unlicensed medical professionals in Somaliland. Using a razor blade and an anesthetic syringe, “female cutters” typically remove the external parts of a young girl’s genital area.
According to the WHO, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM.