Djibouti: Female genital mutilation (FGM) including prevalence, age it is practised and laws against it
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 February 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||DJI31226.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Djibouti: Female genital mutilation (FGM) including prevalence, age it is practised and laws against it, 1 February 1999, DJI31226.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac31b.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Country Reports 1997 states that as much as 98 per cent of females have undergone FGM. The World Health Organisation states that an estimated 95 per cent women have undergone infibulation, the most dangerous form of FGM in Djibouti (WHO 18 Feb. 199; Africa News 15 Jan. 1999). Infibulation involves
the cutting of the clitoris, labia minora and at least the anterior two-thirds and often the whole of the medial part of labia majora. The two sides of the vulva are then pinned together by silk or catgut sutures, or with thorns, thus obliterating the vaginal introitus except for a very small opening, preserved by the insertion of a tiny piece of wood or a reed for the passage of urine or menstrual blood (Minority Rights Group Report No.47, 1992, No. 47, 3).
According to Country Reports 1997, FGM is traditionally performed on girls between 7 and 10 years (96). The practice of infibulation is pervasive, particularly in the rural areas, and an educational campaign by the Union of Djiboutian Women (UNFD) in 1988 has had limited impact in eradicating the practice. After the 1995 UN Women's Conference in Cairo, the UNFD reportedly called for the prohibition of all forms of mutilation (ibid.).
Although after April 1995 the Penal Code stated that "violence causing genital mutilation" is an offence punishable by five years imprisonment and a fine of over $5,600, according to Country Reports 1997, no one had been convicted under the statute. However, according to the same source, due to the work of the UNFD the number of hospitalizations related to FGM seems to have dropped, although systematic statistics on the decrease of problem are non-existent. "U.N. and other experts believe that lesser forms of FGM are still widely practised, and that the most extreme procedure, infibulation, is still common in rural areas" (ibid., 96-97).
Information on whether an adult woman would be forced to undergo FGM could not be found among the sources currently available to the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Africa News. 15 January 1999. "Senegal Bans Female Genital Mutilation." (NEXIS)
Country Reports on Human Rights Practises for 1997. 1998. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
Minority Rights Group (MRG) [London]. Report No. 47. April 1992. Female Circumcision, Excision and Infibulation.
World Heath Organisation (WHO). "Female Genital Mutilation: Information Pack." [Internet:http://www.who.int.frh-whd/FGM][Accessed 18 February 1990].
Additional Sources Consulted
Hosken, Fran, P. 1993. 4th ed. The Hosken Report: Genital and Sexual Mutilation of Females. Washington, DC: Women's International Network News.
Win News [Lexington, Mass.]. Quarterly. 1993-1998. Vols. 19-24.
Unsuccessful attempts to contact oral sources.