National committee to eliminate FGM: We will not tolerate any practice against Egyptian girls' rights

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Sat, 13 Jun 2020 - 02:47 GMT

The procedure of FGM - Reuters

The procedure of FGM - Reuters

CAIRO - 13 June On the occasion of the national day against FGM in Egypt, which falls on the 14th of June of each year, the National Committee to end FGM – chaired by the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, jointly with its representative members from all the relevant ministries, judicial authorities, Al-Azhar and the 3 Egyptian churches and concerned civil society organizations, in addition to cooperating development partners – renew their commitment to work on eradicating this inhuman crime against Egyptian girls.

Dr. Maya Morsy, President of The National Council for women said that the National committee to eliminate FGM will not tolerate any practice against the rights of Egyptian girls, She emphasized that coordination of efforts of all committee members is the key to the success that Egyptian girls will be gaining in the future. Noting that this day is the painful memory & the 13th anniversary of the passing away of “Bedoor”, the FGM victim in 2007.

“This day would only increase our determination & persistence to eliminate this practice. Noting that, despite all the national efforts exerted to eliminate this crime, there is still insistence from some families to conduct this worn habit. From this standpoint and within the framework of the National Committee to eliminate FGM, the Legislative Committee of the National Council for Women With the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the Public Prosecution have studied the legislative aspects related to the criminalization of FGM in the Egyptian law; and a proposal to amend the articles of FGM has been finalized again given the experience of the practical application of the current FGM law; as the Egyptian girls needs more protection in the penal law,” Dr. Morsy said.

Dr. Morsy also explained that the proposed law included stricter penalty for FGM and widening the criminalization scope and redefining the act of FGM as a deformity. The proposal also provides a solution for the issue of having FGM perpetrators from the medical staff who are performing a crime against the honorable medical profession. The Legislative committee has also studied addressing the issue of FGM in the child law & its bylaws. Dr. Morsy, on behalf of the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM, offers sincere thanks and appreciation to the Public Prosecution for their important role and fruitful cooperation to come up with these significant proposals.

Dr. Morsy also mentioned the National council for women’s complaints office, which receives FGM complaints on its hotline 15115.

Dr. Morsy calls upon all fathers and mothers to protect their daughters from such danger that assassinates their childhood & future. She calls on the Ministry of Religious Endowment to enlighten minds, and raise awareness about the true religious perspective about this reprehensible crime that is falsely alleged to Islam, through a unified speech during the upcoming Friday prayers and continue addressing the issue after that. Dr. Morsy has praised the role of Al Azhar Al Sharif, Led by the Grand Emam Dr. Ahmed El Tayeb for his supportive position of Egyptian women, which contributes to delivering the true essence of Islamic religion that is respectful of women.

Dr. Sahar El-Sonbaty, Secretary general of the National Council for childhood and motherhood, said that the national day to eliminate FGM which is the day when “bedoor” has passed away as a result of being subjected to FGM, has contributed to breaking the silence to this crime & was a great community awakening for all society segments who announced their refusal to such crime that violates the rights & human dignity of a child. The day also helped in the emergence of a true Islamic and Christian religious discourse against the practice of FGM.

“In this day we announce our coordinated efforts and renewed commitment to eliminate the crime of FGM so that we guarantee the fulfillment of our children’s right of having healthy upbringing without any kind of violence or violation, and we can do it, we can get rid of all inherited misconceptions & false religious allegations that only result in more ignorance & miserable violated childhood,” Dr. Sahar said.

Dr. Sonbaty added that we had to coordinate our efforts to confront and eliminate FGM through the National committee to eliminate FGM chaired by the National Council for Women & the National Council for Childhood & Motherhood, which comes in line with the strategic framework and national plan of childhood and motherhood 2018-2030 and Egypt’s vision 2030 & the SDGs.

Dr. Sonbaty explained that during the past period and ever since the establishment of the National Committee in May 2019, extensive efforts were exerted to end this practice and reach out to the largest number of beneficiaries to build a dialogue and discuss the misconceptions and false allegations of the FGM crime, as well as creating major social mobility and place the FGM back on the agenda of the government’s priorities. One important outcome of the committee is also the strong contribution of all committee member’s as well as civil society organizations and international partners to this agenda.
Dr. Sonbaty said that doctors practice 80% of the FGM cases.

This crime has caused a lot of psychological & physical damages to our girls, as well as the death of many of them; while this crime has nothing to do with medicine & there is no medical definition to this practice at all. It is rather a practice done under the cover of medical justifications which is a total deception & fraudulent and we will not accept or tolerate such violation to any of our girls’ rights. We will continue our efforts to confront all acts that would constitute a violation of the rights of our children & girls. Dr. Sonbaty calls upon parents and families to be merciful to their children & not to commit such crimes against them and sacrifice their lives over religious misconceptions & harmful practices. She added that a girl’s honor is based upon a good healthy upbringing; and that the Islamic research academy responded in a very decisive manner in this FGM issue, and that the legal and medical opinion settled that FGM is only a harmful practice that does not have any legitimacy or basis referred to by the Islamic Sharia.

Dr. Sahar calls upon all citizens to immediately report any FGM case on the child help line 16000. The cooperation between the National committee to eliminate FGM members has resulted in 747 activity reaching out to a total of 22,109,124 women, men and children in villages all over the governorates of Egypt during the past year. The activities included medical convoys, awareness raising and media campaigns, receiving complaints & institutional capacity building.

In addition to the knocking doors campaign titled “Protect her from FGM” through the 27 branches of the National Council for Women, & the children protection committees of the National council for childhood and motherhood in the governorates to raise the awareness of the parents in the villages on the danger of this crime and its impact on the future of their girls & their reduced chances of living a normal life.. Also the 16 days of activism to combat violence against women in 2019 was dedicated to FGM.

The National Committee to eliminate FGM stresses on its determination to confront this crime, which does not rely on any religious, mindful or humane basis, and that it will not tolerate any violation to our girls’ rights until this practice is eliminated and our girls are completely safe and secure with good physical & mental health and a bright future.

The National committee to eliminate FGM is the only national mandated mechanism that was established in May 2019 and was announced during Dr. Morsy’s meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister on May 21, 2019. The Committee hold members from different concerned ministries, judicial authority, Al Azhar Al Sharif, The 3 Egyptian Churches, Civil social organizations, and with the participation and cooperation of other development partners.

The national committee is an integral part of the state’s efforts to protect human rights at large and women and girls rights in specific.

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