Press Release to launch “Stop Female Genital Mutilation Now” Campaign
6 February, 2022
On the 6th of February of every year, efforts and endeavors to recall and stress the zero intolerance to FGM are highlighted. And here we are, on the same day of the year 2022, remembering that in Egypt:
- 92% of married women and girls between 15-45 years old have undergone FGM.
- More than half of women think that men prefer the continuity of the practice of FGM.
- 82% of FGM crimes have been committed by medical care providers.
Therefore, Tadwein for Gender Studies is pleading and demanding medical care providers to urgently and immediately stop all FGM-related activities to respect the sanctity of their profession and the law.
Women and girls who have undergone this heinous crime often suffer psychological and physical implications because of this practice; some of them lose their will to live and enjoy life completely.
Combating FGM is urgent and necessary to stop the death of girls.
The Egyptian government made tremendous efforts to stop FGM crimes in Egypt. Those efforts started in 2003 with the announcement of a number of legal precautions and steps to combat FGM in Egypt, then by the Ministry of Health’s decree number 271 in 2007 that criminalizes FGM in all public and private hospitals, followed by the House of Representatives endorsement in 2008 of a law that criminalized FGM for the first time in the Egyptian national legislative structure, followed by legal amendments inf 2016 as well as the more recent amendments in 2021, related to Articles 242 bis and 242 bis (a) of the Egyptian Penal Code, which intensifies the penalty for the crime of FGM to make it range from 5 years to rigid imprisonment. Moreover, the amendments include penalties for both parents as well as legal guardians who perform FGM on their girls, and on medical institutions that conduct this crime, in addition to anyone who promotes or advocates FGM.
For years, civil society organizations and those working in the field of development have been partners and avid supporters of efforts to end FGM. Civil society organizations have even taken it upon themselves to raise social awareness of FGM through the development of interventions and measures to combat all forms of violence against women and girls in Egypt, taking into account the sensitivity of gender issues in Egypt.
In order to highlight those efforts, medical care providers – with the Ministry of Health and all professional syndicates related to health and medical services at the forefront – should exert more efforts in combating FGM that takes place at the hands of doctors and nurses, which essentially increases the rates of these practices; either by committing the crime themselves or by participating or covering for the crime. In fact, the efforts that have been made for nearly half a century to combat FGM may collapse as a result of perjury and the practice of medical circumcision.
Therefore, Tadwein for Gender Studies calls for the following:
- We demand the Ministry of Health and Population to introduce effective control measures to prosecute perpetrators of FGM crimes, in both public and private hospitals, and to work on monitoring those who commit those crimes to prosecute them according to the law. We also urge them to launch a hotline to receive citizen’s reports on FGM crimes.
- We ask the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, the Councils for Medical Professions, and the Syndicate for Medical Care Providers to include additional penalties for those proven to have participated in or covered for this crime or any other form of sexual violence against women and girls in their internal regulations.
- We demand male and female members of the Egyptian Parliament to exert more effort in combating FGM, as well as ending all forms of violence against women and girls in Egypt. This can be done by monitoring the government’s performance and legislative contributions for a perspective that takes into account gender sensitivity and allows for more positive dialogue for women and children.