Female genital mutilation continues as change comes slowly

Former 'cutter' shows some of the tools that they used to use before giving up the practice. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2018

Female genital mutilation continues as change comes slowly

BEKARREDAR: Campaigners on Tuesday are marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation. Nearly 200 million women around the world live with its effects, the United Nations says.
In Ethiopia, as many as three-quarters of women and girls live with the painful and sometimes life-threatening practice. One hospital deep in the Afar desert region struggles to help them.
Here, many girls undergo the removal of external genitalia and sewing-up of their vagina before they reach their first birthday.
Addu Abdala Dubba used to perform circumcisions. It gave her a sense of purpose. She thought it helped women remain faithful in marriage.
But after attending government trainings, she says “I now understand this practice is wrong and it can destroy a child’s future.”
Now she is a midwife instead.


Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

Updated 24 October 2020

Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

  • There has been an upsurge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country
  • The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict

KABUL: A suicide bomber struck near an education centre in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least 18 people in the latest attack to rock the conflict-wracked country.
Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.
The suicide attack, which also wounded 57, happened late afternoon at the centre, which offers training and courses for students in higher education in a western district of Kabul.
"A suicide bomber wanted to enter the education centre," Tareq Arian, spokesman for the interior ministry, said in a statement.
"But he was identified by the centre's guards after which he detonated his explosives in an alley."
He said the attack had left at least 18 people dead and 57 wounded.
"I was standing about 100 metres from the centre when a big blast knocked me down," said local resident Ali Reza, who had gone to hospital with his cousin who was wounded in the blast.
"Dust and smoke was all around me. All those killed and wounded were students who wanted to enter the centre."
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
Residents in several districts of western Kabul belong to the minority Shiite Hazara community, often targeted by Daesh militants. 
In the past, extremists have targeted several education centres and other facilities in the area.
In May, a group of gunmen launched a brazen daylight attack on a hospital in west Kabul that left several mothers dead. The gunmen were shot dead after hours of fighting with security forces.