Sudan set to outlaw female genital mutilation

On 22 April 2020 Sudan’s council of ministers voted overwhelmingly to criminalize FGM imposing a three year jail sentence for offenders. In a move hailed as a victory for women’s rights, the country joins 24 other African countries in enacting legislation against FGM. Sudan has one of the highest rates of FGM with the United Nations estimating that 87% of Sudanese women between the ages of 14-49 have been subjected to the harmful practice. The amendment to the criminal legislation, which still needs to be passed by members of the sovereign council, is aimed at protecting girls from FGM and restoring their dignity. The new transitional government has passed various laws that have been seen as an expression of the political will to support women’s rights in Sudan. FGM is still practiced in at least 27 African countries. World leaders have pledged to eliminate FGM by 2030.


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