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Somalia, 5 February 2015: Former circumcision practitioner, Asha, talks about how she was persuaded to give up her work

5 February 2015, Somalia – On February 6 each year the UN marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. This is an important day for Somalia which has one of the highest rates of female circumcision in the world. Nearly all Somali girls (98 percent) are circumcised - many suffer bleeding and infections and some even die as a result. The Somali authorities, supported by UNICEF and other partners, work with social mobilizers and local leaders to raise awareness about the dangers and persuade families, those circumcising girls and everyone involved to put an end to the harmful practice. This is the story of one woman Asha Farah Yusuf who was persuaded to stop circumcising girls.

Widower Asha Farah Yusuf from Hargeisa, Somaliand, used to earn a living circumcising girls. Today her youngest granddaughters have not been circumcised. Asha had been circumcising girls since she was 18, but gave up the practice two years ago after a team of social mobilizers from a local NGO persuaded her that it was not a religious obligation and often caused long term health problems. “I am happy that I stopped circumcising because I am also no longer causing problems for young girls,” she says.



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