A father who performed FGM on his three daughters after telling them they would receive a coronavirus vaccination has been charged.
According to the prosecutor’s statement, the doctor gave the girls a general anaesthetic so that they lost consciousness: “When they woke up, they were shocked to find their legs bound together and a sensation of pain in their genitals.”
The forensic report detailed “the excision of… reproductive organs.”
The doctor is also being charged for his role in performing the brutal practice on the three sisters, who were all under 18, after they told their mother who reported it to authorities. The parents are divorced.
FGM was made illegal in Egypt in 2008 with stricter punishments being put in place in 2016. doctors can face up to seven years in jail and instigators one year. However, the practice is still widespread in the country and those who instigate and carry it out are rarely held accountable.
Because it is outlawed doctors often charge very high prices. Anaesthetic is an extra and if a family cannot afford it their daughters are cut without it.
At the beginning of this year the case of 12-year-old Nada Abdul Maksoud from Assiut in Upper Egypt, who died after her parents forced her to undergo FGM and she bled to death, drew widespread criticism.
Nada’s parents, auntie and the doctor who performed the procedure were arrested after her uncle reported her death.
According to the Executive Director of the Cairo-based Women’s Centre for Guidance and Legal Awareness, Reda El-Danbouki, the doctor responsible for Nada’s death was almost immediately released and there is doubt over whether he will even stand trial.
Egypt is one of the top four countries worldwide where FGM is carried out on both Muslims and Christians. A 2015 UNICEF survey revealed some 90 per cent of women in Egypt aged between 15 and 49 have been subject to female circumcision.
The surgery is known for being incredibly painful and leaves victims infertile, with an increased risk of infection, and can cause complications in childbirth and urination difficulties.
Official figures say some 200 million women have been impacted by FGM but rights activists say this is a huge underestimate.