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Friday, August 27, 2010

New information on the death of 13-year-old FGM victim in Egypt

August 27, 2010
Waris Dirie Foundation

The Cairo-based weekly newspaper Al-Ahram has published another interesting article on the case of 13-year-old Nermine El-Haddad, who died after undergoing FGM in a public hospital in Egypt earlier this month.
The article quotes Health Minister Mushira Khattab, who reported this case to the Prosecutor-General after her Ministry was informed about the death by another doctor from the hospital where the surgery was performed:

“We must break the wall of silence that surrounds this issue and step up our national campaign to prevent the practice being passed on to the next generation”, she said. “Our target is to make it clear that the practice will not be tolerated in Egypt.”
The procedure has been made illegal in Egypt in 2008, but doctors and nurses have been banned from performing FGM since 2007 after the death of two young girls who had been mutilated in public hospitals.

Despite the ban, FGM continues to be performed, especially by poorer families. According to national statistics, around 80 percent of girls born to poor families become victims of FGM, while only 30 percent of girls from wealthy, educated backgrounds are mutilated.
“This case makes it very clear that legislation alone is not enough to protect girls from FGM and it highlights the importance of education in eradicating this horrible practice!” - Waris Dirie