A Press Release About Launching (Her Body not Yours) Campaign
Today corresponds to 30 years of the “Global 16 Days Campaign against Gender-based Violence. The annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year, Tadwein for Gender Studies in collaboration with Speak Up feminist group chose to launch a campaign to advocate against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Egypt.
Why Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains transnational public health, gender injustice issue and human rights violation. At least 200 million girls and women across 31 different countries have undergone this violent procedure. According to UNICEF, more than half of the women and girls who have undergone FGM live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Egypt comes, as the highest fifth country in the world where 87% of all Egyptian women between the ages 15-49 have undergone this violation.
Although the prevalence of FGM has dropped among the girls aged 0-17 from 69% to 55% between the years 2005 and 2014, still one in three girls will still undergo the practice by the year 2030. Accordingly, Egypt will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 5.3, which aims to eliminate harmful practices including FGM by 2030 (UNICEF 2020).
Still, over half of Egyptians think FGM should continue (59% of men and 54% of women).
The support for FGM is most common among girls and women in rural areas and the poorest households as well as those who are older and have less education. (UNICEF 2020)
Egypt is the highest country in the world where medical personnel practice FGM, a phenomenon called “medicalization of FGM”. Currently, health professionals in Egypt carry out 78.4% of FGM cases and around 18.6% of medical students in six medical schools in Egypt indicated that they might practice FGM due to various reasons.
Although, the Egyptian government has shown its commitment to ending FGM in Egypt through signing and ratifying many of the international human rights conventions and treaties related to the practice of FGM, approving relevant legislations, including the 2021 amendment to the FGM law, issuing strategies and formulating implementing national bodies. Yet, the progress made is slow and more efforts are needed in order to end this violent practice that Egyptian girls undergo on daily basis.
This digital campaign aims to shed the light on the violation of this practice, rebut the myths around its benefits, hear true stories of girls and women who have undergone the practice and open a wide debate around women’s rights to bodily integrity.