Rights groups slam new calls for female circumcision in southern Egypt


A group of Egyptian medical and human rights organizations on Monday condemned reports on the mobile medical convoy for circumcision of girls in the southern Egyptian governorate of Minya, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), an Egyptian news website reported on Tuesday.

They expressed, in a joint statement, their shock from the attempts to violate the “bodily rights ensured by the Egyptian law for children through an amendment to the law for decriminalization of female genital mutilation, which coincided with the statement by some political movements,” the online Biyamasr reported.

The statement described the move as “backward” on the law that would encourage the people in the villages of Minya governorate to undergo female genital mutilation, which is considered as an act of psychological, physical and sexual violence against girls.

The statement called for a stop of sexual violence against Egyptian girls and urged the respect of the Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions of children’s rights through mainstreaming the right to bodily integrity. According to Bikyamasr news website, the statement also urged the consideration of the practice of female genital mutilation as “a crime of deliberate congenital deformation as it meets all forms of violence against girls, which should be punishable by law.

“The practice of female genital mutilation is a non-scientific practice and causes psychological and physical and sexual damage for young girls,” the statement said, adding that it is “subjected to jurisdiction by al-Azhar.”

According to the United Nations figures, three million girls face circumcision every year in Africa, and up to 140 million women and girls worldwide have already undergone the practice, which has serious immediate and long-term health effects and is a clear violation of fundamental human rights.

(Writing by Abeer Tayel)