Though Egypt is far from seeing the end of troubling practice of female circumcision, this case may be a step in the right direction.
Female circumcision is more appropriately known as genital mutilation. A barbaric practice of removing the clitoris that needlessly puts young lives at risk over religious interpretations. The good news, if you can call it that, is that Egypt officially banned the practice in 2008. The bad news is Egypt has a terrible track record when it comes to actually following through on their new laws. The shocking news is that doctors are still performing these operations, and amazingly according to a judicial official on Tuesday, one of them might actually be held accountable, as a doctor will stand trial for a botched mutilation that result in the death of a 14-year-old.
The reckless procedure took place in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura at a private clinic. The 14-year-old victim was forced into the procedure by her father. Proponents of this belief think that the atrocious procedure somehow 'purifies' women from sexual temptation. In reality, the operation does nothing more than destroy female genitalia, often leading to complications that could make it impossible to give birth or, in this specific case death.
This heinous practice is often performed by both Muslims and minority Christians according to Nehad Abolkomsan, who heads the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights. Abolkomsan explains that: "This will continue to need a lot of work and effort by the state to apply the law," adding that, "most cases don't get to the attention of the prosecutor, unless the girl suffers health consequences."
A survey conducted in Egypt in 2000 claimed that the procedure had been carried out on 97 percent of the country's married women. Of course as always it is hard to believe any sort of statistics that come out of Egypt, as it is almost impossible of properly retrieving data. This terrible problem is not exclusive to Egypt; it is in fact a global issue. The World Health Organization estimates that between 100 million and 140 million women have been victims of genital mutilation worldwide.