UN praises Egypt's efforts to end FGM

Ahram Online , Monday 27 May 2019

File Photo: A woman holds a card in her lap warning of the problems with female genital mutilation during a session to educate women in Minya, Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

The United Nations in Egypt welcomed and applauded on Monday the positive and encouraging steps taken by the Egyptian government to end Female Genital Mutilation "FGM".

The statement of the UN in Egypt stated that on 20 May 2019 , the National council for Women and the National council for Childhood and Motherhood held their first meeting of the National taskforce for ending FGM in Egypt.

The National Taskforce is made of all concerned ministries in addition to civil society and development partners and it aims to concrete all the efforts to end the practice that violates the rights of women and girls.

The statement added that the taskforce is in line with the National strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian women 2030 , specifically the protection pillar concerned with protection of women and girls from all forms of violence including FGM.

"It also contributes to Egypt's national efforts towards the achievement of UN sustainable development goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." The statement added.

According to the Egyptian health ministry in 2018 , the rate of the female genital mutilation (FGM) among teenage girls from 15 to 17 years old fell from 74 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in 2014 in Egypt.

The Egyptian government criminalised FGM in 2008. In 2016, the House of Representatives passed amendments in the law criminalising FGM, designating the practice a felony and mandating stricter punishments for those convicted of performing the procedure

The first FGM conviction was in January 2015, seven years after the practice was criminalised, when a father and a doctor were convicted of the death of a 13-year-old girl who died during an FGM operation.

Others were prosecuted in similar cases later. 

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