Sudan: NPWJ welcomes the adoption by the transitional government of a legislation banning FGM

1 May, 2020 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome, 1 May 2020

NPWJ welcomes the adoption by the Sudanese transitional government of a specific legislation banning female genital mutilation (FGM) as a landmark step towards a new era for the protection of women’s rights in a country where the prevalence of the practice is one of the highest globally. According to the United Nations estimates, nearly nine in 10 Sudanese women have been subjected to the most extreme form of this human rights violation.

Pursuant to the amendment to the country’s criminal code approved by Sudan’s transitional government on April 22, anyone who performs FGM either inside a medical establishment or elsewhere faces three years’ imprisonment and a fine. We are extremely pleased that Sudan now has, for the first time, a self-standing law at the national level that criminalises FGM in an explicit and unequivocal manner.

NPWJ and its partners of the BanFGM Campaign have constantly stressed that the adoption and the enforcement of explicit and effective legislation, backed by sanctions, banning all forms of FGM are fundamental and crucial factors to successfully combat this form of gender-based violence, promote its elimination, protect its victims and end impunity by holding perpetrators to account. It also reinforces the legitimacy and impact of the advocacy and awareness efforts carried out by local anti-FGM activists and women’s rights group to bring an end to this human rights violation.

Following the repeal in last November of the Public Order Act which tightly restricted women’s freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study, the adoption of the anti-FGM bill is another concrete answer to the demands voiced and the prominent role played by women and girls in the nine-month street protests that ousted longtime autocrat Omar Al Bashir in April last year.

We urge the Sudanese authorities to promptly enact its provisions to stamp out the practice once and for all and to launch a wide-scale awareness campaign to inform communities in areas where this human rights violation persists that it is not only degrading, but also a criminal offence. We also look forward to see their commitment to women’s rights further confirmed by outlawing other violent discriminating practices such as child marriage and marital rape which deny women the most basic forms of personal autonomy and self-determination.

For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini, email: