Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mobile FGM Convoys Being Organized By Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

China has its mobile abortion clinics, and now Egypt's enlightened Muslim Brotherhood is sending out mobile medical convoys to convince families to have their young daughters undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) for free, at least according to Bikyamasr (which isn't always trustworthy). In spite of the fact that this horrific practice is actually illegal in Egypt, it is still a common tradition among the poor and uneducated.

Naturally, human rights organizations in Egypt are in an uproar over the fact that the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party has officially sanctioned these mobile FGM units. An article on Bikyamasr isn't clear as to whether the FGM is actually being performed in those mobile units or whether they're just aggressively encouraging the practice, but either way it's reprehensible.  At least there are people trying to do something about it.
A number of Egyptian human rights groups have submitted a communication to the Attorney General against the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to investigate the complaints of people in the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo, over the existence of a large medical convoy organized by the party that wanders streets and does medical examination on people, including female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, in violation of Egyptian law, conventions and treaties signed by Egypt.

In Egypt’s legal code, Female Genital Mutilation is criminalized, as well as the inciting by doctors to convince families of the young girls of the need to agree to circumcise their daughters, “as a matter of preserving chastity.”

The communication demanded Mervat Tallawy, the head of the National Council for Women (NCW) and Major General Seraj EL Din El Rouby, the Governor of Minya, and Nasr El Sayed , Assistant Minister for primary health care, and preventive medicine, and family planning, to intervene to stop what it called “a farce propaganda for free circumcision, which was organized by one of the political parties, in Minya governorate to promote circumcision.”
Thankfully, there's an effort to educate women on how not to succumb to pressure- whether they'll have any success is questionable. And women's groups and others are attempting to get the Muslim Brotherhood and others to follow the rule of law with respect to FGM, but that too is doubtful.

The National Council for Women has criticized the FJP's stance on FGM claiming that it puts

"the person who promotes it under penalty of law because FGM is criminalized, and against human rights in general and women in particular.”

FGM was a problem under Mubarak, as well, but it wasn't sanctioned by the government.

And this is what the long, hard-earned battle against tyranny got the Egyptians after the Arab Spring, a worst kind of tyranny.

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