Police Officer Sijali (left) and Mgesi (right), the cutter
Police Officer Sijali (left) and Mgesi (right), the cutter

In April 2021, an important prosecution took place of a cutter from Kitarungu Village, Tanzania. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay 1,000,000 TZS (c. $430USD / €350) to the victim. A parent was also jailed for 5 years for their involvement in arranging for the cutting to take place.

The victim was rescued and taken into the protective environment of Hope for Girls and Women, where she was found to require hospital care, due to her injuries.

FGM was criminalised in Tanzania in 1998 but still happens, particularly in rural areas where it is easier to conduct the practice away from authorities. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to schools being closed which in turn opened a longer window for girls to ‘recover’ away from the eyes of the education system. School holidays will often be exploited and these periods have come to be known as ‘cutting seasons’.

During these ‘cutting seasons’, our maps become even more integral to rescue teams who need to be able to reach victims and those at risk as quickly as possible. Find out more about our work, and get involved here.

Hear more about the impact of COVID-19 on work to end FGM, by watching a webinar here.

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