In Somalia, isolation caused by coronavirus has led to a huge increase in female genital mutilation. Circumcisers are going door to door and offering to cut young girls’ genitals. According to Plan International, Somalia has the highest rate of FGM in the world (with 98%). Plan International’s Chief of Mission in Somalia stated that there has been a massive increase in recent weeks as the crisis is undermining efforts to eradicate such barbaric practice. Nurses across the country have also reported an increase in FGM requests from parents.
Female genital mutilation affects 200 million girls and women worldwide. It consists of the partial or complete removal of the external genitalia. UNFPA estimates that 290,000 girls will be circumcised in Somalia in 2020. The peak might also be linked to Ramadan as excision is considered traditional practice.