Egypt arrests father, nurse over FGM of 15-year-old girl

Egypt arrests father, nurse over FGM of 15-year-old girl
2 min read
03 February, 2021
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is outlawed in Egypt but the practice still continues.
Around 90 percent of Egyptian women have suffered FGM [Getty]
Egyptian authorities arrested a father and a retired nurse this week over the female genital mutilation (FGM) of the man's 15-year-old daughter.

Police arrested the two after the alleged incident was reported to the public prosecution by a doctor near Cairo, Reuters reported.

"The surgery was done at home and when the girl had severe bleeding, the father transported her to a nearby hospital," said Sabry Osman, who runs a helpline that aids children facing violence.

"We followed up the case until the girl went out of hospital and returned home. We are now in the process of offering the girl the psychological support that she needs after going through this incident," Osman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Requesting or carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) became a criminal offence in Egypt in 2016, however, the practice remains widespread.

Nearly 90 percent of Egyptian women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to FGM, according to UNICEF.

The practice can cause long-lasting physical and mental health problems, including serious infections, childbirth complications, and even death.

Last month, Egypt's cabinet approved a draft bill to increase the sentence for carrying out FGM from seven to 20 years.

Advocates say the recent arrests indicate Egyptian authorities are improving the previously poor enforcement of the law.

Nonetheless, women's rights groups say stiff penalties - even if properly enforced - are not enough to combat FGM.

"Awareness campaigns, knocking on doors, sermons in mosques and in churches should be carried out to curb this crime," said Reda Eldanbouki, executive director of the Women's Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness.

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