By Muhammed Aladdin.
In a statement on Monday, the United Nations in Egypt has acknowledged Egypt’s continuous efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
In recent years, there has been a number of government campaigns to raise awareness throughout Egypt’s different governorates on the danger and illegality of this heinous practice.
Representatives from the UN attended the first meeting of the national task force assigned to putting an end to FGM in Egypt. The meeting was organized by the National Council for Women, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, a number of concerned ministries as well as development partners from civil society.
The UN statement pointed out that the agenda for the national task force had similar outlines to Egypt’s national strategy for women’s empowerment by 2030, focusing on protection against all forms of violence including FGM, which affects young girls across many of the country’s less-developed areas.
“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.
There is some good news though, as according to a 2018 report by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the numbers of teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 17 subjected to FGM have dropped significantly in the last 10 years. For instance, in 2014, rates were 61 percent, down from 74 percent in 2008.
Furthermore, in 2008, the Egyptian government officially criminalized FGM, when the People’s Assembly passed amendments making the practice a felony and mandating stricter punishments for those accused of performing the procedure.
Because of this shameful practice, many girls die each year at the hands of unlicensed practitioners.