Sudan last month outlawed female genital mutilation.
In an amendment to criminal legislation, Sudan's current government imposed three years of prison time and a fine on anyone who performs female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF.
The United Nations defines female genital mutilation as anything involving a procedure that alters or injures the female genitalia for nonmedical reasons. It is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. The practice, however, remains prevalent in 30 countries, according to the U.N. Nearly 9 out of 10 Sudanese women aged 15 to 49 have been cut, UNICEF reports.
“This practice is not only a violation of every girl child’s rights, it is harmful and has serious consequences for a girl’s physical and mental health,” says Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Representative in Sudan. “This is why governments and communities alike must take immediate action to put an end to this practice."
The New York Times noted that while Egypt banned the practice in 2008, it is still a common practice there. UNICEF said it will work with local communities to enforce the new law in Sudan.