2 June 2016
Egypt’s Mayar Mohammed’s twin sister, 17 years old Mousa Mohammed who died after undergoing the procedure for Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, has sparked an international outrage.
The operation took place in a private hospital in Egypt’s Coastal Suez province. According to the autopsy performed on Mousa, she died of complications caused by FGM.
The hospital has since been shut down by authorities and the case is currently under investigation by state prosecutors with the doctor who performed the procedure in police custody.
Egypt’s National Population Council said in a statement that it “strongly condemns any doctor or individual who commits such a crime.”
According to the Reports of the Egyptian Government, ninety-two per cent of married Egyptian women aged 15 to 49 have been subjected to FGM.
The United Nations also reports that 82% of female circumcisions in Egypt are performed by trained medical personnel.
Mousa’s mother, who is a nurse at the hospital where the procedure took place, denied that her daughter underwent FGM and says she was at the hospital for a different operation.
The United Nations in Egypt, saddened by the death of the 17 year old condemned the procedure saying “there is still a long way to go to eliminate this harmful practice that violates the rights of women and girls. There is no moral, religious or health reason to cut or mutilate any girl or woman.”
Though Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, was banned in Egypt in 2008, its practice is still as persistent as ever.
FGM, also known as “female circumcision” is the removal of all or some of the external female genitalia. The procedure is traditionally carried out by a blade and may be carried out from the days after birth to adulthood.
Though the procedure differs worldwide and according to ethnic group, it basically involves the removal of the clitoris, inner labia, outer labia and closure of the vulva.
The practice is rooted in gender inequality, an attempt to prevent “promiscuity” in the female gender. It also revolves around the idea of purity and modesty.
Though it has been outlawed in several countries, the practice remains prevalent especially in communities that strongly believe in it.
An important fact about FGM is that it has no health benefits for girls and women. On the contrary, a number of health issues may arise where the procedure has taken place.
Such include severe bleeding, problems urinating, cysts, infections, complications in childbirth, emotional distress, sexual complications etc.
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.