End FGM Logo - Photo Courtesy of United Nations website
CAIRO, June 12 (MENA) - Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) Aza Ashmawi asserted that Egypt is firmly resolved to eliminate the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) phenomenon, noting that the Anti-FGM national committee would launch an awareness campaign against the practice nation-wide as of June 13.
In statements on Wednesday, Ashmawi said the campaign is entitled "Budour Month" after the name of a 11-year-old girl who died of complications of a circumcision surgery in a private clinic in the Egyptian village of Mughagha, Minya governorate, in 2007, a tragic incident which prompted the government to outlaw the practice of female genital mutilation and sparked a strong public outcry in Egypt.
She asserted that NCCM has been working over the past few years on several programs to counter such practices through the various mass media means.
Ashmawi also said that in 2016, the government toughened the punishment against those involved in such practice and established the anti-FGM national committee under the chairmanship of the NCCM.
The campaign will include awareness convoys to be deployed to all the Egyptian governorates as of Thursday, holding seminars as well as organizing public competitions to ensure that correct information about FGM reach to the public, she added.
Egypt imposed a complete ban on female genital cutting — also known as female genital mutilation or circumcision — in June 2007 after Budour Shaker died of an excessive dose of anesthesia while being cut at the private clinic in Upper Egypt.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the government’s official arbiter of Islamic law, decreed during the same year that female genital cutting was forbidden by Islam, in his strongest statement yet against the practice.
FGM was criminalized by Egyptian parliament in June 2008, thus creating a paradigm shift by moving the practice from social norm to crime. Child Helpline 16000 has been an effective tool for reporting practitioners and assessing change of attitudes of public towards FGM, according to Ashmawi.
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