As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
A 13-year-old girl died while being circumcised by a doctor in a small village northeast of Cairo, according to the website Al Masry Al Youm.
Suhair al-Bata’a, who went by the nickname Soo-Soo, died of a “sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma,” was the statement given by officials following the child’s autopsy.
The doctor who performed the circumcision allegedly offered the family the equivalent of $2,900 to keep quiet about the incident, said the girl’s uncle, Mohammed al-Bata’a, according to Al Masry.
The doctor, who is not named in Al Masry’s article, had circumcised the girl’s older sister, Amira, two years earlier, her parents said.
Egypt’s National Council for Women called the incident a criminal act that showed “extreme savagery,” and called on the government to investigate the issue and punish those responsible, Al Arabiya reported.
Egypt outlawed female circumcision in 2007, following the death of a 12-year-old girl from a circumcision procedure, but the government continued to allow them under some circumstances.
The controversial practice, also known as female genital mutilation, is widespread in Egypt. According to a 2005 UNICEF study cited by the Guardian, “96 percent of Egyptian women aged 15 to 49 who had ever been married reported they had been circumcised.”
Female genital mutilation in Egypt is practiced by both Christian and Muslim families. Its advocates say it protects the girl’s chastity and reduces her sexual desire.
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