From Where I Stand: “l will ensure no more girls are cut in my life.”




I was inspired to become a female circumciser when the former female circumciser passed on and the resident of the village l reside in pleaded with me to become the new female circumciser. My decision to take up the position was informed by the need to preserve the long held traditional and customs of our ancestors. Although l underwent a painful female genital mutilation in my childhood and experienced a host of difficult and unforgettable complications consequently, l still dared to venture into the trade as an additional source of income over the little payment l received as a traditional birth attendant.

Nor Mohamed from the IFRAH Foundation interviewing Amina at her home in the Basma,arke IDP camp. (Photo: UN Women Somalia)
Nor Mohamed from the IFRAH Foundation interviewing Amina at her home in the Basma,arke IDP camp. Photo: UN Women Somalia

The IFRAH Foundation team persuaded me to join their sessions to discuss ending female genital mutilation and after long healthy discussions among my fellow session participants, l was dumbfounded that l was causing such hurt. What l all along considered as a religious and good practice has turned out to be a terrible practice. l regret my past actions and vow to never engage in that trade again.

I wish I didn’t pass through the ‘killer of life’ as a child. The early stages of female genital mutilation were the worst days of my life because of difficultly urinating, difficultly during birth, walking and menstrual pain. l will ensure no more girls are cut in my life. I am now ready to communicate to the rest of the community on how to protect and promote the girl’s rights by eliminating all forms of female genital mutilation and cutting.”

Amina, 48, is a traditional birth attendant and a reformed circumciser. She is an Internally Displaced Person who moved into Basma,arke IDP camp in the Baidoa town of Bay in Somalia in 2020. UN Women and the IFRAH foundation started a women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access, and Protection (LEAP) Program in Baidoa to focus on combating Gender-Based Violence, FGM and elimination of discrimination against women and girls by abolishing long vices and other harmful traditional practices like FGM, early forced marriage and denial of girl child education. The program places women’s rights at the center of efforts by promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming through transformation and upholding existing positive social norms. As a result of her endless efforts to disseminate positive FGM/C elimination there was a reduced occurrence of FGM/C in the surrounding IDP areas.