On December 6th 2005 another innocent little girl lost her life to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), four year old Enaam Abdelwahab from Abu Deleeg in Sudan. The Doctor who was on duty at the hospital to which she was admitted reported that her death was caused by excessive bleeding and blood poisoning resulting from FGM. In a statement to the press he strongly condemned the practice of FGM which resulted in the death of the little girl and said that she had died because: “someone committed [what should be classified as] a criminal act against her, which has nothing to do with culture, religion or tradition.”
Sadly such needless deaths are by no means uncommon occurrences, however, the fact that the incident was widely reported in the Sudanese press is unusual. Pictures were circulated of the little girls body, with her pale face contrasting sharply with the red henna on her hands – a sign of celebration for her subjection to FGM. These pictures succeeded in shattering, or at least for the time being, the vicious silence that usually prevails in relation to the issue of FGM. As a result, on December 14th a group of Sudanese civil society organisations led by the Sudanese Nurses Union took to the streets in Khartoum to protest against Enaam’s death. They marched from the hospital in which she died, to the Ministry of Justice, in order to demand a law specifically banning all forms of FGM in Sudan, a country where an estimated 89 per cent of all women and girls are subjected to FGM, and commonly the most severe form – type 3 which is known as ‘Pharonic Circumcision’.
In response to this tragedy FORWARD decided to launch a campaign for effective legislation against all forms of FGM in Sudan, in memory of Enaam.
Find out more information about the campaign and how you can get involved here.