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DW: For some Egyptian women, FGM is not all bad

15.9.2015. By Mai Shams Al-Din. It’s neither a lack of education, nor a religious custom that allows female genital mutilation (FGM) to prevail in Egypt. Three mothers explain their motivation for getting their daughters cut.

Living in a village in the south of Egypt, Mounira*, a 47-year-old government employee, remembers her experience with FGM as “horrible and painful.” Women like Mounira – who have been cut themselves – usually want the practice to end. But not Mounira. (more…)

Middle East Online: Egypt doctor gets 2 years in jail for fatal female circumcision

26.1.2015. CAIRO – An Egyptian appeals court on Monday sentenced a doctor to more than two years in jail for performing a female circumcision that killed a teenage girl, overturning an acquittal. A lower court in November had acquitted the doctor and the father of 14-year-old Sohair al-Bataa in the first such case brought to the courts since the procedure was banned in 2008.


Egypt’s first female genital mutilation trial ends in not guilty verdict

The Guadian, 20.11.2014. The first doctor to be brought to trial in Egypt on charges of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been acquitted, crushing hopes that the landmark verdict would discourage Egyptian doctors from conducting the endemic practice.

Raslan Fadl, a doctor and Islamic preacher in the village of Agga, northern Egypt, was acquitted of mutilating Sohair al-Bata’a in June 2013. The 12-year-old died during the alleged procedure, but Fadl was also acquitted of her manslaughter.

No reason was given by the judge, with the verdict being simply scrawled in a court ledger, rather than being announced in the Agga courtroom.

Sohair’s father, Mohamed al-Bata’a, was also acquitted of responsibility. Police and health officials testified that the child’s parents had admitted taking their daughter to Fadl’s clinic for the procedure.

Despite his acquittal, the doctor was ordered to pay 5,001 Egyptian pounds (about £450) to Sohair’s mother for her daughter’s manslaughter, after the pair reached an out-of-court settlement.

Read the whole article

Bold Talks Women 2014, Dubai: Combating Female Genital Mutilation

Hannah Wettig, the project coordinator of Stop FGM Middle East, held a lecture at Bold Talks Women Dubai on May 31, 2014.


Second Middle East & Asia Conference on FGM shows that new strategies are needed

16.5.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East.

On May 7th to 10th the Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was held in Istanbul where more than thirty activists and researchers from Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India met as well as representatives from UNICEF Iraq, Orchid Project (England) and Terre des Femmes (Germany). It was the second such conference organized by the German-Iraqi NGOs WADI and the Dutch NGO Hivos.

For the longest time FGM was regarded as an African problem, based on the African continent with some prevalence in neighboring countries like Yemen. This mantra was overcome only recently when WADI strated raising conscious, that FGM is also widespread in a Middle Eastern country like Iraq. In January 2012, the first conference on FGM in the Middle East was held in Beirut. In the last two years the STOP FGM Middle East Project by WADI and Hivos collected further evidence, that countries like Oman, Malaysia and Indonesia have a significant high prevalence rate of FGM. Therefore, this second conference widened the scope from the Middle East to South East Asia. (more…)


12.3.2014. Discorus Boles on Coptic Nationalism.

In a previous article, I surveyed Egypt’s statistics in respect of the prevalence of and support for female genital mutilation (FGM) as revealed in the UNICEF’s document, published in July 2013, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change. The figures given are concerned with Egypt as a whole, and so when the percentage of 91% is given as prevalence of FGM in Egyptian girls and women in reproductive age, that is between 15 and 49 years, it does not differentiate between Muslim and Christian Egyptian girls and women.  Now, I am going to try to find the statistics relevant to the Coptic Christians. (more…)

Anti-FGM Campaigners Mark Progress in Egypt

We News, 23.12.2013. By Jessica Gray

After the death of 13-year-old Suhair al Bata’a this summer, an intensive awareness campaign about the hazards of FGM/C reached into 11 governorates across Egypt. But advocates say the battle against a practice dating back to the age of the Pharaohs will take time and persistence.

CAIRO, Egypt (WOMENSENEWS)– Egyptian gynecologist Dr. Randa Fakhr Eldeen still remembers the horror she felt 20 years ago at seeing a victim of female genital mutilation, or cutting, for the first time.

The girl, only about 10 years old, had been rushed to Manshiet el Bakry Hospital’s emergency room in the capital, suffering massive blood loss. Eldeen, still in training, said she was confused by the girl’s life-threatening injuries.

“I didn’t know what had happened because we don’t practice FGM/C in my family . . . It’s not taught in medical school . . . She was unconscious and we had to give her [several] blood transfusions. I think she was given six bags of blood. She was going to die and her mother [kept] crying about her hymen,” recalls Eldeen. “I couldn’t stay in the emergency room. I had to leave. I was crying.”

FGM/C, also known as female circumcision, has a long history in Egypt. She says the practice came from Ethiopia during the Pharaonic era. In 2007 the practice was outlawed after the death of a 12-year-old in Minya. Nonetheless, the vast majority of women between 15 and 49 have endured the procedure. A 2008 Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of women married at least once puts the estimate at 91 percent. Read More

The Lancet: FGM in the Middle East

13.12.2013. The renown science magazine “The Lancet” acknowledges on its editor’s page that FGM exists beyond Africa. Under the title “Female genital mutilation in the Middle East” Farrokh Habibzadeh affirms:

“FGM is mainly practised in Africa but is also done in other regions. For example, the prevalence of this procedure is very high in Iraqi Kurdistan. Saleem and colleagues reported that 23% of more than 1500 girls with a mean age of almost 14 years from Iraqi Kurdistan had had FGM, at a mean age of 5 years. FGM is also common in Iranian Kurdistan and Egypt where the procedure is prohibited by law.”
This is a good step ahead even if there are still many countries missing in the list.

Robert F. Kennedy Center honours Egyptian attorney Ragia Omran with human rights award

Daily News Egypt, 26.11.2013. Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy, founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), presented Egyptian human rights attorney Ragia Omran with an award to honour her work and commitment to human rights in Egypt. Ms Omran, a cutting edge advocate for advancing women’s rights and ending the use of military tribunals against civilians, was nominated in March 2013 for her two decades of advocacy, and was selected for the award on 24 June out of a field of 111 total nominations. The ceremony was held at the Kennedy Caucus Room at the Russell Senate Building in Washington DC, with journalist Soledad O’Brien as emcee.

“With dedication and courage, Ms Omran is often the first to arrive on the scene at jails, police stations, court houses, and military and civilian prosecution offices. Hundreds of peaceful activists have her to thank for successfully securing their release and protecting their rights to freedom of speech and association,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center. “She is a beacon of hope for the women of Egypt and a champion in the global human rights movement. We are proud to honour her with our 30th annual award.”

“Robert F. Kennedy and the Kennedy family have been a lifelong inspiration for me. They are a testament to the idea that one person can make a change in the community and that this change can eventually transform the world,” said Ragia Omran, 2013 RFK Human Rights Awardee. “It is with great honour and humility that I accept this award on behalf of all the courageous Egyptians who have come before me and who have worked alongside me.”

As a leading member of a number of Egypt’s legal advocacy organisations, Ms Omran and her colleagues at the Front to Defend Egypt Protesters have represented hundreds of civilians ordered to military trial, an increasing trend in Egypt following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Ms Omran has already achieved remarkable victories in her effort to promote equality and justice. She is a member of the No to Military Trials for Civilians Campaign, established in 2011 to provide legal support to detainees and to advocate against the use of military trials of Egyptian civilians. A year after the campaign launched, the group was recognised for raising awareness of the issue of civilian military trials under emergency law.

In addition, for over two decades, Ms Omran has worked to defend women’s rights in Egypt. In 1995, she helped lead the Egyptian Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Task Force, which successfully outlawed the practice in public hospitals in Egypt, a nation where 91 percent of women are victims of FGM.

Ms. Omran is currently a member of the New Woman Foundation (NWF) that works to defend women’s social, political, economic, and cultural rights, and was one of the first groups to speak publicly about violence against women in Egypt beginning in the 1990s. NWF has been actively advocating for increased civic participation for women and for women to have a say in the newly formed Egyptian government.

The RFK Center will provide ongoing, long-term support to Ms Omran in advocacy and strategic initiatives to help further her progress on a range of human rights issues, from women’s rights and protecting protestors, to ending the use of military trials for civilians. Source