Rapid assessment on Female Genital Mutilation in Gedo
Somalia republic is at the Horn of Africa. It borders Kenya to the Southwest, Ethiopia to the west and Djibouti to the Northwest respectively. The population is approximated to be 8 million. Somalia is 632,000 kilometre sq. The country is divided into 16 provinces. Gedo is one of the southern region provinces. NCA initiated FGM program in Gedo Somalia after a consultation meeting with women leaders from Garbaharre and Burdhubo in August 2001. In this forum, the women requested NCA to assist them understand and develop strategies to address FGM in the Somali community. It was therefore proposed that, in order for the program to make an impact, it was prudent to target the entire sevenDistricts of Gedo region with a spilling effect to the bordering Districts of Mandera, Kenya and Dolo Ethiopia. Since then, NCA has organized consultation workshops, conducted three training programs for 25 Tots (carefully selected groups of women, men, boys and girls), provided training materials, translated documents for circulation, and distributed badges and T/shirts with anti FGM messages. Although all the above has been done, the war on FGM has just begun, it is estimated that 98% of the women in Somalia have undergone FGM, with 95% having undergone the severe type known as paranoiac or infibulations. NCA, FGM program may not have produced easily visible impact due to restrictive factors like, the short time the program has been implemented, deep rooted culture, low level of literacy especially among women, insecurity, war and the impact of poverty that diverts attention to livelihood. However NCA endeavors to sustain continued activities aimed at eradicating FGM among the Somali community.