In light of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Hala Abou Zeid, Minister of Health, revealed in a press conference that Egypt is launching a new campaign on 6 February fighting FGM nationwide.
“The council is paying great attention to the anti-FGM file […] and a new initiative will be launched to fight this phenomenon,” the minister highlighted.
According to Vivian Fouad, who was the previous National Population Council (NPC) spokesperson and is now an independent FGM expert, the awareness campaigns have been proven to be successful and effective in decreasing the abundance of FGM.
In cooperation with the Public Prosecution and Ministry of Interior, the NPC was able to reinforce the laws criminalizing FGM and sentencing those who violate these laws.
In Egypt, more than 94 percent of women who are married experienced FGM, and at least 69 percent will perform the same procedure on their daughters. A study done by the Health Insurance Organization revealed that 41 percent of girls in primary, middle and high school have undergone FGM.
FGM is a common practice not just in Egypt but in many African countries as well. Many believe that it is a religious act. However it is more of a cultural phenomena to control female sexuality with no religious bases.
In Islam, and mutilation to the body is prohibited and FGM is not allowed because it harms “the most sensitive organ in the female body.”