FGM rate drops in Egypt by 13% among teenage girls in six years

Hassan Hafez, a barber, mimics the way he used to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt, June 13, 2006. (Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2018

FGM rate drops in Egypt by 13% among teenage girls in six years

CAIRO: Newly released figures are showing that the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) among teenage girls in Egypt between the ages of 15-17 has dropped from 74 percent to 61 percent from the years 2008-2014.
The country’s Health Ministry along with the National Population Council released the figures this week saying Egypt was able to cut the rate of the practice by 13 percent over a period of six years.
It said that new policies, laws and awareness campaigns have contributed to the decrease, a report by Al-Masry El-Youm has said.
According to the United Nations, the global number of women and girls who have undergone FGM has reached 200 million.
In 2014, according to the population health survey, FGM in Egypt stood at 92 percent among married girls between the ages of 15-49.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as “any operation involving partial or total removal of female genitalia.”
Despite the fact that the practice has been criminalized in Egypt since 2008, an estimated 87 percent of the country’s girls and women aged between 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.
The practice is culturally believed among certain sectors of the Egyptian society that it “reduces” a woman’s sexual appetites.
But Egypt’s religious institutes such as Al-Azhar University and Dar El Iftaa’ have made efforts toward integrating anti-FGM in their programs.


Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu says he will visit Bahrain soon

Updated 22 min 48 sec ago

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu says he will visit Bahrain soon

  • ‘We are both excited to bring the fruits of peace to our people and countries in such a short time’

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would visit Bahrain “soon” at the invitation of the Gulf state’s Crown Prince Salman Al-Khalifa.
Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates in normalizing ties with Israel in a deal brokered by the United States that marked a strategic Middle East alignment against Iran. The shift has enraged the Palestinians who have demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.
“We are both excited to bring the fruits of peace to our people and countries in such a short time. That’s why he (Al-Khalifa) invited me to come soon for a formal visit in Bahrain and I will do this happily,” Netanyahu said in a statement about a phone call he held with the crown prince.
A first Bahraini delegation visited Israel last Wednesday.
Since September, the Trump administration has brokered agreements with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan toward normalizing their relations with Israel. An Israeli delegation traveled to Sudan on Monday.
Although White House officials have said more countries are considering normalizing ties with Israel, further developments appear unlikely before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20 and establishes his administration’s policy on Iran.
Biden has said he would rejoin the nuclear accord that world powers signed with Iran if it first resumed strict compliance with the deal, and would work with allies to strengthen its terms.