Sudan on Friday has officially outlawed the age-old practice of female genital mutilation(FGM) as declared by the sovereign council, the highest authority in the country.
The North African country has ratified a law criminalising female genital mutilation, announced by the justice ministry.
The council, comprising military and civilian authorities, approved a series of laws including one “criminalising” FGM or genital cutting that “undermines the dignity of women,” a statement said.
Earlier this year, Sudan’s cabinet approved amendments to the criminal code that would punish those who perform the operation with up to three years in prison and a fine.
The justice ministry revealed any doctors or health workers who carry out genital cutting would be penalised under the new law, and the hospitals, clinics or other places where the operation was conducted would be shut.
Nearly nine out of 10 girls in Sudan fall victim to FGM, according to the United Nations.
Some 87% of Sudanese women aged between 14 and 49 have undergone some form of FGM, according to the UN.
In Sudan it is common for women to get the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, removed. This type of mutilation is known as type III.
FGM, according to Medical research can result in urinary tract infections, uterine infections, kidney infections, cysts, reproductive issues and pain during sex.