12-Year-Old In Egypt Bleeds To Death After Female Genital Mutilation Was Forced Upon Her By Her Family

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12-Year-Old In Egypt Bleeds To Death After Female Genital Mutilation Was Forced Upon Her By Her Family

Photo: Sohair al-Bata'a, one of the girls who have died in recent years in Egypt from FGM - Women's Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness

Following the arrest last week of a father and nurse for carrying out Female Genital Mutilation on a 15-year-old girl, attention has returned to a previous case in which a 12-year-old girl died after being subjected to the barbaric procedure.

Nada Hassan Abdel-Maqsoud bled to death last year following the procedure, which was forced upon her by her family. A doctor who carried out the act is reported to not have used any anaesthetic and had no qualifications as a surgeon.

The girl's parents, uncle and aunt are all thought to have taken the girl for the procedure which is widespread within Egypt. It is estimated that 90% of the women over the age of 15 in Egypt have been subjected to FGM. Within the society, it is seen as a way in which to maintain sexual purity. Besides the obvious damage to a woman's sexual health, the procedure can also cause huge damage to their physical health and their mental well-being.

FGM has been banned in Egypt since 2008, and the girl's parents and the doctor involved were all arrested by Egyptian authorities. Since 2016, anyone involved in the procedure, including parents and family members, can also be prosecuted for facilitating FGM. Those that are caught carrying out the act face as much as 15 years in prison.

The case of Nada Hassan Abdel-Maqsoud is sadly just one of many. In 2013 13-year-old Sohair al-Bata'a also died as a result of FGM. The doctor that was involved in her FGM was later arrested and became the first person convicted under the new laws. He only spent 3-months behind bars.

Reda El Danbouki, a lawyer and campaigner against FGM, told reporters that he believed that while the new laws were a positive sign, FGM remained embedded in Egyptian culture and not enough people were speaking out against it. He said:

"FGM continues to occur because there is no desire from the political leadership to stop it. The state is tolerant of female genital mutilation despite the presence of law, and despite receiving funds and grants from abroad [to combat it]. The police and the officials carrying out investigations don't care about domestic and sexual violence, including FGM."

Despite these reservations, a large-scale anti-FGM publicity campaign is now underway and more resources are being pushed forward in order to arrest and punish those involved in the practice. It is estimated that worldwide today, there are 200 million women who have had FGM inflicted upon them. The problem exists almost exclusively within the African continent, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa and disproportionately affects those girls and women with fewer economic resources.

[h/t: The Guardian]

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Thinking Humanity: 12-Year-Old In Egypt Bleeds To Death After Female Genital Mutilation Was Forced Upon Her By Her Family
12-Year-Old In Egypt Bleeds To Death After Female Genital Mutilation Was Forced Upon Her By Her Family
Following the arrest last week of a father and nurse for carrying out Female Genital Mutilation on a 15-year-old girl, attention has returned to a pre
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