FGM rate drops in Egypt by 13% among teenage girls in six years

Hassan Hafez, a barber, mimics the way he used to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt, June 13, 2006. (Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2018

FGM rate drops in Egypt by 13% among teenage girls in six years

CAIRO: Newly released figures are showing that the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) among teenage girls in Egypt between the ages of 15-17 has dropped from 74 percent to 61 percent from the years 2008-2014.
The country’s Health Ministry along with the National Population Council released the figures this week saying Egypt was able to cut the rate of the practice by 13 percent over a period of six years.
It said that new policies, laws and awareness campaigns have contributed to the decrease, a report by Al-Masry El-Youm has said.
According to the United Nations, the global number of women and girls who have undergone FGM has reached 200 million.
In 2014, according to the population health survey, FGM in Egypt stood at 92 percent among married girls between the ages of 15-49.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as “any operation involving partial or total removal of female genitalia.”
Despite the fact that the practice has been criminalized in Egypt since 2008, an estimated 87 percent of the country’s girls and women aged between 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.
The practice is culturally believed among certain sectors of the Egyptian society that it “reduces” a woman’s sexual appetites.
But Egypt’s religious institutes such as Al-Azhar University and Dar El Iftaa’ have made efforts toward integrating anti-FGM in their programs.


Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

Updated 48 min 23 sec ago

Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

  • Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19
  • “I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said

ALGIERS: Algeria’s 75-year-old President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19, he said in a Tweet on Saturday.
Tebboune took office in December in an election that came amidst months of mass protests which forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power after 20 years.
“I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said, saying his decision was taken on the advice of medical staff.
The global pandemic struck Algeria’s economy as it faced long-term challenges posed by the decline of the oil and gas revenues that finance its historically lavish state spending.
So far, Algeria has officially confirmed more than 55,000 cases of the coronavirus with nearly 2,000 deaths.
Though the pandemic forced an end to the weekly mass protest marches through Algiers and other cities that lasted for more than a year, the political challenges remain.
Tebboune has pushed for changes to Algeria’s referendum to limit presidential terms while expanding the powers of the parliament and judiciary.
However, many people in the leaderless protest movement believe their core goals of replacing the old ruling elite and forcing the army to stay out of politics remain unmet.
Algerians will vote in a referendum on the new constitution on Nov. 1, with Tebboune and the country’s powerful army generals seeking a high turnout in order to turn a page on the protests.