Egypt witnesses 1st harshened FGM penalty after law amendment in April



Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 09:18 GMT


Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 09:18 GMT

The procedure of FGM - Reuters

The procedure of FGM - Reuters

CAIRO – 1 October 2021: Over the past days, the press has hailed an Egyptian criminal court after what was described as a “historic verdict” against a nurse and a father, whose daughter was subject to a female genital mutilation (FGM) case.


The verdict made headlines as it is considered to be the longest prison sentence to date. With both defendants tried in absentia, the Shubra el-Khema Criminal Court sentenced the father to three years with hard labor and the nurse to 10 years in prison after violating the law by circumcising the victim, which caused her a permanent disability.  


The court explained that the incident was committed before the latest law amendment took place earlier this year, where some provisions of the Penal Code were amended to toughen the penalty for circumcision as a felony.


For its part, the court sent a message to all girls, advocating them to report any violation to their bodies, even if happened to a child, and that “every guardian should think twice before committing such crime, so that their inevitable fate not be at the criminal court.”


Toughening penalty for FGM


Last April, Egypt’s parliament agreed to harshen the penalty of female circumcision, bringing the penalty against medics to a maximum prison term of at least 10 years. The Council approved the draft law submitted by the government, last March, and added to the law to punish the guardian who tries to perform the circumcision of his daughter.


According to the amendment, committing the crime incurs five years of prison, and not less than seven years, if permanent damage occurs. If the victim dies as a consequence, the culprit shall be sentenced to at least 10 years of prison.


The establishment where the crime is committed shall be shut down for the same number of years of the penalty handed to the doctor or nurse implicated. That is if the owner knows that the place was used for that purpose.


In Egypt, the percentage of FGM among ever married women in age group 15-49 decreased from 92.3 percent in 2004 to 87.2 percent in 2015; while the percentage of FGM among girls in age group 15-17 has decreased from 74.4 percent in 2008 to 61.1 percent in 2014.




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