Efforts to eradicate female genital circumcision in West Africa have taken a step forward with a fatwa against the practice in Mauritania and sanctions in Niger against mothers who subject their daughters to it. Known also as female genital mutilation (FGM), the tradition involves removing external parts of a girl's genitals and sometimes narrowing the vaginal opening. Bleeding, disease and problems in urinating and childbirth can result for millions of victims each year in Africa and the Middle East.

"A West African regional court of justice convicted the state of Niger on Monday for failing to protect a 12-year-old girl from being sold into slavery in a case anti-slavery campaigners hope will set a precedent."
L'état des lieux en matière de respect du droit des femmes à l'éducation est désastreux au Niger, dix ans après l'adoption, par le gouvernement, d'une Loi d'orientation du système éducatif national (LOSEN) révèle une étude consacrée à cette question.
Noura Abdurrahi's four children were crying from hunger, and she knew there was food in the house. But her husband, Musa, had locked it away, out of her reach, when he had left to search for work the previous week.
Cultural norms dictate that girls should get married early in this West African country: according to various surveys, the average age for marriage amongst females in Niger is 13.
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