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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘female circumcision’

14 Year Old Egyptian Girl Dies From FGM

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

More than 90 percent of Egyptian women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also referred to, misleadingly, as female circumcision. A 14 year old Egyptian girl just died from it.

The numbers had begun to recede from an all time high of 97 percent of Egyptian women genitally mutilated. But all that changed when the Islamists came to power after the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosnai Mubarak.

Although FGM is not required under Shariah, the reduction in oppression of women was viewed as a vestige of the Mubarak era, and the Islamists reversed any forward movement on that front.

According to an article in AlAkhbar, the unnamed 14 year old girl died after being genitally mutilated by a doctor to whom her father had taken her for the procedure. Both the father and the doctor are facing criminal charges.

The practice of FGM was officially banned in Egypt in 2008, but it is widespread and continues to be practiced, especially in rural areas, according to Nehad Abul Komsan, the head of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Health.

The reason women are forced to undergo female genital mutilation is that it is believed by its proponents to “purify” women from sexual temptation. That would be because the women are so badly and brutally injured, that going to the bathroom or even sitting down can be painful for the duration of one’s life. And the lifelong discomfort which is often a side effect of FGM certainly would dissuade those who have had it to avoid anything that might cause further pain.

According to a World Health Organization 2014 update, there are no health benefits to FGM, only harm to the rights and health of girls and women upon whom it is performed.

Although, according to the WHO, no religions require FGM, there are cultures in which the practice is believed to be required by the religion.

FGM is practiced most widely in more than two dozen countries throughout Africa. Countries in which it is currently estimated that more than 80 percent of all women have undergone FGM include Egypt (91.1), Somalia (97.9), Sudan (90), Sierra Leone (94), Guinea (95.6), Djibouti (93.1), Eritrea (88.7) and Mali (85.2).

Although all of the collected evidence suggests that FGM is most prevalent in Africa, and is nearly non-existent in the Middle East, in a 2007 article published in the Middle East Quarterly disputes that.  The authors in that article emphatically state it is inaccurate to suggest that FGM is not widespread, despite the absence of reported evidence, in the Middle East. The absence of evidence has more to do with women and girls being forbidden to report the practice, especially to foreigners. This same article argues that FGM is considered by certain established authorities on Islam to be strongly encouraged by the Muslim faith.

Egyptian Girl Dies in ‘Female Circumcision’ Operation

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

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.

Female Circumcision Now a Growing Problem in Germany

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Between 130 and 150 million women are victims of genital mutilation – most of them are Africans, Deutsche Welle reports. Now, doctors, teachers and social workers in Germany report being confronted by this practice in ever growing numbers.

Jawahir Cumar, who moved to Germany with her parents from Somalia when she was a girl, witnessed, at age 20, on a visit to her grandparents’ village, the funeral of young girl who had bled to death after being “circumcised.”

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced in 29 African countries, even though it is illegal in some of them. It is usually done when girls are between the ages of four and eight – using razor blades, kitchen knives and even broken glass and tin lids. Because these tools are used more than once, it also increases the spreading of bllod-based diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

FGM alters or injures female genitalia for non-medical reasons, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, urine and menstrual fluids can hardly be discharged and remain trapped as a result,” explains Dr. Christoph Zerm, a gynecologist who specializes in counseling and treating women who have undergone FGM.

“This creates an environment that is conducive for infections. It can cause severe illness in the urinary tract and even the kidney. The uterus, ovaries and the fallopian tubes can also get infected,” he adds.

For many of these women, urinating can take up to 30 minutes, and is very painful.

Cumar, who was a small child when she was mutilated, later underwent several surgeries in Germany. She founded “Stop Mutilation,” to prevent other girls and women from having a similar experience.

“The immigrants that come here bring this problem with them. That’s what made me create this organization in 1996,” says Jawahir, who is now a mother of three.

An estimated 30,000 women living in Germany have been subjected to FGM and 6,000 girls are at risk, according to human rights organization Terre des Femmes.

“Mothers-in-law and grandmothers, especially, call all the time, write letters and send messages,” says Cumar. And the message is always the same, “you have to cut your daughters! Or just bring them to us and we will do it.”

Cumar visits kindergartens and advises teachers on how they can raise awareness about FGM. She also targets African immigrants in her advocacy work.

“Many of them don’t know that it is prohibited in Germany. They are shocked when they hear that they could lose custody of their children,” Cumar says.

She was able to prevent 17 girls from being subjected to FGM last year. But there’s still a lot of work to be done in Germany as well, says Cumar, pointing to how long it took for “honor killings” to be viewed by police as a criminal offence and not simply as the customs of immigrants.

Gynecologist Christoph Zerm would like medical German students to learn more about female genital mutilation, so that doctors can provide better care to women who are affected.

Indonesian Muslims Rejects Ban on Female Circumcision

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

One of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations is causing a controversy by objecting to a UN plan to ban female circumcision, ABC News reported.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) says female circumcision is part of Islamic teachings and that it is their constitutional right.

MUI chairman Ma’ruf Amin has called on hospital and clinics to provide the service to people who would want their daughters circumcised.

“What we reject is the ban. If there is a request … don’t turn [the parents] away,” Ma’ruf was quoted as saying.

Ma’ruf’s comments were made in response to the approval last month of a non-binding resolution calling on UN members to enforce laws against female genital mutilation (as well as pass such laws, if they’re not already on the books).

The practice of female circumcision was officially banned by the Indonesian Ministry of Health back in 2006, because it is “potentially harmful.”

In 2010, however, the Indonesian Government issued a ministerial regulation outlining how the practice should be carried out by medical doctors. That initiative confused many.

Justina Rostiawati, from the National Commission on Violence Against Women, said that the regulation was an acknowledgement that the earlier ban on female circumcision was not working.

“When the hospital or the health services in that area refused to carry out the circumcision, the mother would take the female baby to the midwife, or just to a traditional healer, or birth attendant – where it’s even more dangerous,” Rostiawati said.

Professor Terry Hull of the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at the Australian National University said female circumcision is increasing in Indonesia and the practice is becoming more brutal.

“Over the past two decades, there’s been an increasing ‘medicalization’ of the practice, where medical personnel are taking part in what they interpret as Islamic rituals, and they are drawing blood and sometimes cutting away skin from the clitoris and sometimes from the labia.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/indonesian-muslims-rejects-ban-on-female-circumcision/2013/01/24/

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