Somali bans FGM in new constitution, but activists warn translating the law into action will be difficult.

Activists have welcomed a ban on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the new constitution of Somalia – a country where 96 percent of women undergo one of the more extreme forms of the practice – but warn that translating the law into action will require more than just a legal declaration.

In Somalia, the most common form of FGM/C is type III, known as infibulation, which, according to the World Health Organization, involves the “removal of part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora) and stitching and/or narrowing of the vaginal opening.” Globally, an estimated 100-140 million girls (92 million in Africa) live with FGM/C. Another three million are at risk of undergoing the procedure annually.

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