CAIRO – Doctors in Egypt have taken time out of their surgeries for a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) after the death of a 12-year-old girls, saying they do not want their white coats ‘stained with blood’.
Genital cutting of girls was banned in Egypt in 2008, but it remains persistent – a 2016 survey by U.N. Children’s Fund showed 87 percent of women and girls aged 15-49 had undergone the procedure.
The campaign, entitled ‘White Coats’, saw posters with the slogans ‘No to FGM’ and ‘FGM is a Crime’ put up at a Cairo metro station, where doctors in white coasts gave out leaflets about the dangers of the practice.
Organiser Randa Fakhr El Deen, head of the NGO’s Union Against Harmful Practices on Women and Children, said the doctors had faced challenges from proponents of FGM at the station, but the campaign was important.
‘We want to send a message to other doctors that we do not want our white coats to be stained with blood as well as to citizens that medicine refuses this practice’, she told the Thomas Reuters Foundation.
‘Some ultraconservatives were not convinced of what we were saying, but we opened a discussion with them, responded to their arguments and answered all their questions’.
World leaders have pledged to eradicate FGM by 2030, but campaigners say the ancient ritual, which typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, remains deeply entrenched in many places.
It can cause long-lasting mental and physical health problems including chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility , pregnancy and childbirth complications.
Last month Egyptian authorities arrested a retired doctor on charge of carrying out illegal FGM surgery and causing the death of a 12-year-old girl. The girl’s parents were also arrested.
All have since been released, but investigations are continuing and campaigners against FGM say they expect them to face trial.
The ritual is underpinned by the desire to control female sexuality, but is often justified for cultural or religious reasons in conservative societies.
Women and children’s rights group in Egypt say the ban has not been well enforced and that much of society is permissive of FGM, which is widely-practiced by both Christians and Muslims.
The majority of FGM procedures are carried out by doctors and nurses at private clinics, with the rest done at home, according to the Egypt Demographic and Health Survey of 2014.
‘It is a religious thing. Do you want to change religion?’ said metro user Ibrahim Hassan in response to the ‘White Coats’ campaign. ‘You only listen to what the West is saying’.
In response, Fakhr El Deen told Hassan that FGM had no basis in religion and was not taught in medical schools in Egypt.
Learn About The Many Amazing Benefits Of Consuming The Super Fruit Rambutan
You may have often spotted a red, furry fruit on your visit to the local fruit vendor. The odd-looking fruite known as rambutan is often consumed by people around the world for its many health benefits. Native to the Malay – Indonsesian region and certain other regions of Southeast Asia, the medium – sized tropical…
Even Less Than Recommended Amounts Of Caffeine While Pregnant Could Impact Your Child’s Life
Starting the day with a hot cup of caffeinated coffee or tea may sound divine to some, but it could have negative impacts on the children of people who are pregnant, according to a new study. Children who were exposed to small amounts of caffeine before birth were found on average to be shorter than…
Princess Mary Of Denmark Epitomizes Royal Elegance For A Charity Event
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark appeared every inch the glamorous royal as she attended an event held in honour of UNICEF. The Danish princess arrived at the 60th anniversary of the UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen wearing a burgundy Alexander McQueen Blazer on top of a black ensemble. Known for her love of ultra-chic tailoring,…
New York Flower Show Celebrates ‘Remarkable Women’
NEW YORK – Thousands of flowers in brilliant hues of pink, purple, blue, orange, and yellow greeted visitors at Manhattan’s Hudson Yards in New York City for the Fleurs de Villes FEMMES floral show. ‘We’re so thrilled to be back here for our third show at Hudson Yards. And we’re bringing our FEMME show, which…
Spain Lauds Queen Letizia’s Modernizing Role As She Turns 50
PARIS, France – Spain’s Queen Letizia turned 50 on Thursday. It’s only a birthday but Spain is taking the opportunity to assess its scarred monarchy and ponder how the arrival of a middle-class commoner may help shake up one of Europe’s most storied royal dynasties into a modern and more palatable institution. Divorced and a…