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FGM: 15-year-old girl rushed to hospital in Egypt after home op goes wrong

A man shows the logo of a T-shirt that reads "Stop the Cut" referring to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) during a social event advocating against harmful practices such as FGM at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, 21 April 2016. [REUTERS/Siegfried Modola]
A man shows the logo of a T-shirt that reads "Stop the Cut" referring to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Imbirikani, Kenya, 21 April 2016 [REUTERS/Siegfried Modola]

Egypt authorities have arrested a retired nurse and the father of a 15-year-old girl after a botched FGM operation that saw her being rushed to hospital for severe bleeding.

The illegal operation was reported to the public prosecutor by the doctor who treated her at the hospital.

FGM is banned in Egypt but critics say authorities turn a blind eye and fail to hold perpetrators to account, which encourages the operations to continue.

In January the Egyptian cabinet approved harsher FGM penalties raising the maximum sentence to 20 years and stipulating jail time for anyone requesting the operation be carried out.

The practice was banned in 2008 with stricter punishments put in place in 2016, yet it is still practiced widely by both Christians and Muslims indicating authorities have failed to put an end to the brutal practice.

READ: Egypt journalist repeatedly sexually assaulted in prison

Besides being incredibly painful, the operation can cause childbirth complications, infertility and death from infection.

According to UNICEF, almost 90 per cent of Egyptian women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM. It is one of the top four countries worldwide where FGM is carried out.

In June last year, a father of three girls organised for his daughters to be cut after telling them they were having the coronavirus vaccination.

Earlier that year, 12-year-old Nada Abdul Maksoud died after her parents forced her to undergo FGM and she bled to death.

The doctor who carried out the operation was released immediately.

Often women are circumcised without anaesthetic as doctors charge extra and often families cannot afford it or don't want to pay. Doctors often charge high prices for FGM since the operation is illegal.

Official figures put the number of women who have been impacted by FGM worldwide as 200 million, but rights activists say this is a huge underestimation.

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