Egypt's first arrest in enforcing ban on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

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Egypt made its first arrest of someone to violate its complete ban of female genital mutiliation/cutting (FGM/C), Al Arabiya reports. Hospital staff alerted authorities after an 11-year-old girl was admitted with heavy bleeding following the FGM/C, and a 69 year-old-man was arrested and charged with carrying out the FGM/C. For the full story, go here.

The harmful custom of FGM/C is still practiced widely in Egypt, especially in rural areas. In rural Upper Egypt, 84 percent of girls aged 13-17 have already undergone FGM/C, and this number is expected to reach 89 percent by the time these girls reach the age of 18 (Demographic Health Surveys 2008). 

Physical health risks of FGM/C include trauma and bleeding, difficulties in childbirth and heightened risk of sexually transmitted diseases (WHO).

Some signs of improvement are evident, however: 84 percent of women under 25 have undergone FGM/C, compared to 94-96 percent of women aged 25-49 (DHS 2008), suggesting some decline.

CESR will be submitting a fact sheet to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on the state of women's economic and social rights in Egypt. For more information, go here.