Press Release About Launching "Her Body not Yours" Campaign
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the “Global 16 Days Campaign against Gender-based Violence; an annual international campaign starting on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and running until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year, Tadwein for Gender Studies will launch a campaign to advocate against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Egypt, in collaboration with the feminist organization Speak Up.
Why Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains a transnational public health, gender inequality, and human rights violation problem. 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. With 87% of all Egyptian women aged 15-49 being circumcised, Egypt ranks 5th in the world.
Although the prevalence of FGM has dropped among girls aged 0-17 from 69% to 55% between 2005 and 2014, one in three girls will have to undergo this practice by the year 2030, at this rate. Accordingly, Egypt will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.3, which aims to eliminate harmful practices including FGM by 2030 (UNICEF 2020).
However, over half of Egyptians think FGM should continue (59% of men and 54% of women).
Support for FGM is most common among girls and women from 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 the 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.
The Egyptian government has shown its commitment to ending FGM in Egypt by 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 national implementation bodies. Yet, the progress is slow and more efforts are needed in order to end this violent practice that Egyptian girls undergo on daily basis.
This digital campaign aimed to shed the light on the violation of this practice, refute 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.