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Report: 89.2% Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Upper Egypt

In spite of Egypt's 2007 criminalization law, female genital mutilation is still an approved practice amongst nurses, young physicians, and senior physicians.

(NEW YORK, NY)—Egyptian researchers have conducted a study on the influence of a 2007 Egyptian parliamentary law criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM). The 2007 criminalization law was enacted after a 12-year-old girl died from a hemorrhage (caused by an overdose of anasthesia) in Upper Egypt after undergoing FGM. This latest study on FGM in Upper Egypt shows that FGM is still widely practiced (89.2% prevalence) in spite of its criminalization.

This study is the first hospital-based study on FGM in Egypt, and was conducted between September 15, 2008, and September 15, 2010, at the Sohag and Qena University Hospitals. These two hospitals provide medical care to the population of most of the central and southern parts of Upper Egypt. The researchers provided one set of questionnaires to girls and their parents, and another set of questionnaires to health practitioners. These questionnaires assessed the prevalence, incidence, and attitudes towards FGM.

The results showed that in the years after 2000, FGM in Egypt was most often performed by nurses, general practitioners, or gynecologists, and rarely by barbers or midwifes. In the years after, the proportion of nurses and gynecologists performing FGM steadily decreased, and in 2008 and 2009, FGM was mostly performed by general practitioners. In total, 88.2% of nurses, 34.3% of young physicians, and 14.9% of senior physicians approved the practice.

The results of this study also showed that FGM is performed because of religious beliefs (44.2%), tradition (36.5%) and the preservation of chastity (19.3%). The researchers note that people in Upper Egypt would be unlikely to disclose the occurrence of an FGM procedure, and that in the absence of a life-threatening hemorrhage, the general practitioner is protected by parents and community.

The most common type of FGM in Egypt is Type I FGM, where the clitoral hood (or the prepuce, analogous to the male prepuce or foreskin) and/or the clitoris is removed. Since severe bleeding and other complications are uncommon, the procedure can remain undiscovered. Therefore, the researchers of this study claim, the criminalization law will have little effect on attitudes towards FGM. To change the mindset of the Egyptian population, researchers are proposing an amendment of the criminalization law that would make the parents of the girls liable. In the United Kingdom, a criminalization law similar to the one issued in Egypt invites people to report any case of FGM that becomes known to them.

The researchers also note that the organizations combating FGM are "wasting their efforts" when they base their arguments on a woman's right to sexual function. Instead, the researchers advise that these organizations should stress the life-threatening risks and the physical complications associated with FGM, such as infertility.


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I can't believe that women are still being subjected to such inhumane torture! why would they do that in Egypt, do they not know that this is wrong! This needs to be published by a credible authority like topessayservicesau because only then will it pressurize these people to stop being so brutally unjustified!