Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Sudan

 

According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Sudan is 88 % and performed by health care professionals (nurses, midwife, other health workers) more often than by traditional practitioners.

Terre des Femmes notes that FGM/C prevalence varies according to the region, with a prevalence of 99,4 % in the north and a prevalence of 68,4 % in Western Darfur. Most girls are cut between the age of 5 and 9, usually between April and July, during school holidays. Solely the Beja ethnic group in eastern Sudan performs the procedure on babies. Girls who are not cut during childhood will have to undergo the procedure as adults before marriage, as this is seen as a prerequisite for becoming a wife. Other reasons for practising FGM/C include the belief that it is a religious duty and that the pan cleanses a woman's body and soul, as well as myths about a woman's unharmed genitals endangering her husband's virility, the life of her child, the harvest and her own health. 

According to a 2015 report by Waging Peace, 90% of girls in Northern Sudan undergo infibulation and that women in a girl's extended family play a role in deciding whether the girl will be subjected to the practice.

Some states in Sudan passed legislation banning FGM/C in 2008-2009. Sudan acceded to the ICESCR in 1986, has not signed CEDAW, but ratified the CRC in 1990 and the Banjul Charter in 1986. 

  

FGM/C Country of Origin Experts for Sudan

Dr Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf

rma57atgeorgetown [dot] edu

Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Georgetown University and author of Female Circumcision: Multicultural Perspectives (Ed.) (University of Pennsylvania Press 2006); and Transforming Displaced Women in Sudan: Politics and the Body in a Squatter Settlement (U. of Chicago Press 2009). She has conducted research in Sudan with activists working to end FGM/C.  

Dr Nafisa M. Bedri

nmbedriatgmail [dot] com

Dr Nafisa M. Bedri is Associate Professor in Women and Reproductive Health at Ahfad University for Women in Sudan. She has extensive experience in managing programmes and chairing of academic committees. A researcher and trainer in the field of gender, reproductive health, management, advocacy and policy analysis skills and has written and developed several publications and training materials in these fields. She carried out several researches at national and international level in the area of gender and women‘s health for different agencies including the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNAIDS and others. She is an activist in the area of women's reproductive and sexual rights, maternal health, violence against women, FGM/C and HIV/AIDS.

Dr Anita Fábos

AFabosatclarku [dot] edu

Anita Fábos is an anthropologist and associate professor at Clark University. She has worked and conducted research together with Muslim Arab Sudanese forced migrants in the Middle East, Europe, and the US. Formerly Director of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, and Programme Coordinator for MA Refugee Studies at the University of East London, Fábos’s scholarship explores transnational ethnic and religious identity, race, displacement and gender among Muslim refugees at a time of growing discourses of ‘security’ and ‘Islamic spiritual geography’. She has done action research with Sudanese women in Egypt on female genital surgeries (also known as FGM) and has written numerous articles and chapters about Sudanese experiences as forced migrants in the Arab world, Europe, and North America, including Embodying Transition: FGC, Displacement, and Gender-making for Sudanese in Cairo (in Feminist Review). Her book, ‘Brothers’ or Others? Propriety and Gender for Muslim Arab Sudanese in Egypt (2010) is published by Berghahn Books. Fábos is currently researching the transnational performance of Sudanese music in the diaspora.

Peter Verney

Email: peteratsudanupdate [dot] org

Peter Verney has worked in and on Sudanese affairs since 1977, as a teacher, lecturer, aid and development worker, researcher and journalist. He was the editor of Sudan Update's news digest in the 1990s and writes reports on Sudan up to the present day. 
He consults with doctors in Sudan coping with the impacts of FGM/C, workers alongside women who have undergone FGM/C and are dealing with the consequences, as well as with women and men trying to protect their daughters from family and social pressure to carry out the operation, in Sudan and also in the UK. 
Peter Verney was a special adviser on Darfur to the House of Commons' International Development Committee (2005), and has briefed the UN Environment Programme, RedR, Medecins Sans Frontieres, UK Ministry of Defence and Members of the European Parliament. He has written for Anti-Slavery International, Article 19, Index on Censorship, Minority Rights Group, the Oxford University Refugee Studies Programme website, US Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, and Freemuse (World Conference on Music and Censorship). Since 1999 he has assisted over 1200 Sudanese asylum cases, with over 45 court appearances, including UK Country Guidance cases on Darfur and Coptic Christians. He is listed as a “Sudan Country Expert” by the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA) in Britain, he has also given evidence by telephone to US asylum courts. 

 

  

We have no Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Sudan, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.  

 

 

Share