Egypt's Health Ministry Takes Steps to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation
Sunday, July 1, 2007 9:51 AM

Egypt's Health Ministry has taken steps to ensure that female genital mutilation (FGM) is no longer practiced by its doctors. FGM was prohibited in 1997, but the law allowed doctors to perform the procedure in exceptional circumstances. A survey conducted in 2000 revealed that despite the ban, ninety-seven percent of Egyptian women had undergone the procedure. Egypt's Health Ministry has banned all medical personnel from carrying out the practice by cancelling the provision that allowed the procedure "in situations of illness" (cited in: Egypt: All Female Cutting Banned, New York Times, 29 June 2007).  The step was taken partly in response to the death of a twelve-year-old girl, who recently died during the procedure. Both her mother and the doctor who performed the procedure have been arrested. Egypt’s first lady, Susanne Mubarak, religious leaders and human rights organizations have been vocal against the practice.

Compiled from: “Egypt Outlaws all Female Circumcision,” Yahoo News, 28 June 2007; “Egypt Forbids Female Circumcision,” BBC News, 28 June 2007; Egypt: All Female Cutting Banned, New York Times, 29 June 2007.