Egypt Today photo
CAIRO – 3 August 2017: ‘Awareness cards’ about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation are to be distributed along with female vaccination cards throughout Egypt starting August 3, 2017, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.
‘Awareness cards’ are set to warn of the health hazards associated with FGM, according to rapporteur of the National Council for Population, Tarek Tawfik. The already printed cards are scheduled to start distribution, attached to vaccination cards, today in 5000 healthcare units across Egypt.
Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision, is the practice of removing part of a girl’s clitoris. The practice is believed to suppress a girl’s sexuality in order to be more suitable for marriage.
Between the years 2004-2015, 87 percent of Egyptian females aged 15-49 had undergone FGM, according to a 2016 UNESCO report.
FGM is associated with several health risks, including the risk of hepatitis C and AIDS infections, as well as risks of bleeding, infertility, sexual dysfunction and death.
The awareness cards also include the legal articles outlawing FGM, articles 242 (bis) and 242 (bis) A, said Tarek.
FGM is punishable by law, with the penalty for committing an FGM crime being 7 years imprisonment and up to 15 years imprisonments if the girl dies.
The card is also set to state that there is no religious basis for FGM in Islam or Christianity.
In July, two hotlines started operations to receive reports of FGM crimes, and an anti-FGM awareness campaign was to be given to children aged 10-18.