Death of teenage girl casts doubt on Egypt's efforts to end FGM: activists
The death of a teenage girl during an operation to illegally perform female genital mutilation on her in Egypt raises questions
The death of a teenage girl during an operation to illegally perform female genital mutilation (FGM) on her in Egypt raises questions about the north African nation’s efforts to end the practice, anti-FGM campaigners said on Tuesday.
Mayar Mohamed Mousa, 17, died of heavy bleeding in a hospital in Suez province on Sunday while under anesthesia, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), Cairo-based rights group.
The private El Canal Hospital, where Mousa’s twin sister also underwent the procedure but survived, was yesterday shut down and Egyptian prosecutors are investigating the death, said Sedkhi Sidhom, an official from Egypt’s health ministry.
“Not all cases of female circumcision are reported across Egypt. There are cases of circumcision where the women die and are then buried without a word being mentioned,” Sidhom said.
More than nine in 10 women and girls aged between 15 and 49 in Egypt have undergone FGM, and around 80 percent of these procedures are carried out by medical professionals, despite the practice being banned in 2008, according to U.N. estimates.
The teenager’s death comes more than a year after doctor Raslan Fadl was convicted of manslaughter in Egypt’s first FGM trial after a 13-year-old girl died in a botched procedure.
While Fadl was sentenced to more than two years in prison, he has not yet been imprisoned, said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant at rights group Equality Now.
“It is incredible that the Egyptian police are not taking a tough line on ending FGM in a country where over 27 million have been affected,” she said in a statement. “The death of the 17-year-old should be yet another shocking wake up call for Egypt.”
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