The recent death of Manar Moussa, a 17-year-old Egyptian girl, who died in hospital from complications after a botched female genital mutilation (FGM) operation has continued to cause an outrage. There have been strong calls from rights groups for the government to take a tough stance on the illegal practice.
The recent death of Manar Moussa, a 17-year-old Egyptian girl, who died in hospital from complications after a botched female genital mutilation (FGM) operation has continued to cause a public outrage, with calls for the government to take a tough stance on the illegal practice.
While the practice has been outlawed in the country since 2008, as is the case in a number of African countries, the practice remains widespread and is silently practiced.
According to a report released early this year by Unicef, FGM is more rampant across the world, affecting more girls and women, than previously thought.
The report revealed that at least 200 million women and girls have undergone genital mutilation in 30 countries and “more than half live in just three countries: Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia”.
The social and cultural practice remains prevalent in Egypt, and it is seen by some as an important religious tradition, which is essential to ensure cleanliness and promoting chastity.
In a bid to strengthen the fight and prevention of FGM, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently availed guidelines to educate healthcare providers on treating sexual and mental health problems associated with the practice.
The guidelines also warn against the so called “medicalization” of FGM, where parents ask health providers to conduct FGM because they think it will be less harmful.
While the World Health Organization has increased efforts to educate healthcare professionals on the physical and mental health problems associated with the practice, there are also strong calls from rights campaigners for the Egyptian government to enforce anti-FGM laws, to protect the rights of women and girls.