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Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt

Updated on November 22, 2014

Sohair Bata looked younger than her 12 years and was a vibrant,cute, girl by any standards. Like many girls of Egypt, a Muslim country for the most part, despite female genital mutilation being outlawed in 2008. it continues rampantly throughout the country, especially in the rural parts. So, Sohair and her parents agreed to the procedure, which is usually safe when done by qualified doctors.

Bluntly, she died a wrongful death at the hands of a qualified doctor in the village of Agga. Doctor Raslan Fadl had done it many times and was the first to be tried in court for it. The parents hoped for a landmark decision of guilty to send a message to all doctors, but the court declared he was not guilty of murder or manslaughter, a lesser charge. However, the Court did make the doctor pay $500 to the parents who lost their child. The doctor testified that he had refused to do the procedure since 2008 and the girl died from a reaction to penicillin because he only removed a wart from her genital area with an incision of only 1 cm. The prosecution did present proof that what the doctor did was genital mutilation which is a circumcision.

Girls suffer from this barbaric Muslim practice based upon a myth that by circumcising a girls genitalia, she will not desire other men in later life and commit adultery. Over 90% of all Egyptian women between 15-49 yrs. old have had it done. In urban areas, this has dropped to 63%. It is supported in Sohair's village and the locals there agree with the court's decision because it is a custom approved by God. Many women think it is good for girls. Ironically, though, like many beliefs in the Muslim world, the practice is NOT mentioned in the Quran nor practiced in many modern Muslim countries.

The doctor admitted that the law against the practice will not stop doctors from performing it because many seek it. The doctors that do the procedure will now go to their homes to do it to avoid public awareness.

Such a tragic and waste of life based on ignorance.


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