Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Egyptian Teenage Girl Dies While Undergoing Illegal Female Circumcision

A 17-year-old Egyptian teenage girl, Mayar Mohammad, died due to severe bleeding and a drop in blood circulation after she was subjected to an illegal female genital mutilation (FGM) surgery in a private hospital in Suez, Egypt. According to local media reports, the girl’s mother is a nurse, while their late father was a surgeon. So you'd expect the mother to know not to let her daughter go through such backward torture, all in the name of tradition.

FGM has been banned in Egypt since 2007, but the brutal practice is still being practiced illegally in the country and especially in rural areas. In February, the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) said in its annual report on FGM that Egypt witnessed a significant decline of FGM prevalence but still 48% of girls underwent FGM in 2014 compared with 78% in 2008.

The death of Mayar was the first reported in three years and authorities immediately ordered the closure of the private hospital. Egypt’s governmental National Council for Women condemned the unlawful surgery and said in a statement that “performers of such criminal operations must face strict penalties.”

Abdul Abdelaty, a human rights lawyer during an interview with the Middle East Eye website said that even though the operation is illegal, it is really cheap. “Doctors ask between $1 and $15 to do it (FGM) because there is a high demand and a constant flow of cash. The economic aspect – it is really important, and it can be stopped only by enforcing the law,” the lawyer said.

According to Gulf News website, friends of the 17-year-old victim blamed her mother for subjecting her own daughter to FGM. 

The teenager's classmate, Rawan Al Jamal said in a Facebook post: “Mayar died due to ignorance and backwardness of her mother, who regarded her daughter as guilty only because she was created a female.”

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