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Egypt Bans Female Circumcision

I was reading an article today about a 12 year old girl in Egypt who died during a $9 female circumcision procedure at an illegal clinic. It's believed that an overdose of anesthesia was the cause, but her death has sparked government and health officials to ban female circumcision, or genital mutilation. It is now "prohibited for doctors, nurses or any other person to carry out any cut of, flattening or modification of any natural part of the female reproductive system, either in government hospitals, non-government hospitals or any other places."

Female genital mutilation usually involves the removal of the entire clitoris which the Muslims and Christians who practice this believe, feel it tames a girl's sexual desire and maintains her honor.

A 2003 survey by UNICEF showed that 97% of married women have undergone this procedure and that as many as 50.3% were circumcised as early as 10 years old. Many parents believe circumcision is the only way to protect their daughters virginity before they marry.

Opponents of female circumcision believe that it's harmful to women, that they can bleed to death, suffer chronic urinary infections, and have life-threatening complications during childbirth as a result of the procedure.

I'm sure all women reading this will cringe and agree that female circumcision is all about taking the pleasure of sex away from women. I see it as a crime against women, but what about the popularity of male circumcision in the U.S.? Is it the same thing? Would people in Egypt think we are committing a crime against men? What do you think?


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frenchie77 frenchie77 8 years
I see this pretty much the same as I see binding chinese girls' feet. Culture does NOT justify it. It is just wrong, and honestly so many guys get the cut as infants and really are fine. Yes, I think it's unnecessary and kind of stupid to do it (as it is unnecessary and can have complications even though they are rare) but it doesn't stop them from having pleasure. And not going through with it and staying natural really does not cause that many problems. My husband stays clean and honestly I don't see the point in doing it unless there's a health reason that comes up later in life or unless you are a jew, because it really IS cultural/religious in that case and it generally isn't harmful. And I sincerely doubt that these women get as much pleasure without their clitoris, and I would even wager that the ones who get sewn up and need to be cut open on their wedding night dread it much more than anyone can imagine. I would honestly rather remain a virgin than have sex in such circumstances. So I honestly believe that the culture argument is wrong.
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
Dear Ethiopian Princess have you ever read the Quran?? because I am a Muslim and I read the Quran from the start to the end several times and I did not find anything related to the FGM seriously , so please do not say "it is a part from the country" Another thing about the Arab countries , please be specific again because beside being an African , I am AN ARAB and again this practice is not done in most Arab countries ,whether the Gulf or the Iraq ,Lebanon,Palestine,Jordan,Syria and Turkey not to mention the other Muslim countries like in Asia
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 9 years
It's silly to say that FGM carried over to the Middle East from Africa. There is obvious racism involved when discussing issues between E. African and Arab countries. Muslim Sudanese people consider themselves Arab, not black. They don't allow their children to marry people who they consider black, even if they are also muslim. There is a long history of FGM in African countries, especially amongst nomads and other very poor people who would never consider stopping the practice because everyone does it and they don't even know what it is like not to be cut. The suffering, the infections, the death, the excruciating periods, all that stuff they consider normal. The history isn't poorly documented. It is well documented in Arab countries though. It is part of the Q'ran, though what it says would essentially be trimming the labia minora which probably has no functional interference unless it gets infected. As people have interpreted it as they wish and as that area became more macho and basically backwards, they started practicing what we now know as FGM. It's used to control women's sexuality. They believe that without the procedure, women won't control themselves and will bring dishonor to their family. Same goes for rape, which is where the brilliant idea of sewing up the labia majora came from. Genius, other than the many resulting health issues and death not to mention a bad sex life for both the men and women.
RustyAngel73 RustyAngel73 9 years
FGM is horrific.
nessabum nessabum 9 years
i have to admit, i got tired of reading all the comments when i was about halfway through and i got to the part about people saying things about bombing the middle east. since when has violence been able to solve ANYTHING at all? bombing and killing innocent people who have to struggle to survive in a country filled with conflict is enough hardship. for god's sake, LEAVE THEM ALONE. and i'm very against this whole war on terrorism sh*t. again, violence, doesn't fight violence. maybe it's just because i'm pacifist. i don't believe in war. i don't believe in fighting. it hasn't done anyone any good. it's only gone and sparked more and more ruined families, injured civilians, brutal deaths, and destruction and violation of the sanctity of human life. also, there is NO way female genital mutilation is equivalent to male circumcision. the clitoris is analogous in the basic function of providing sexual pleasure in females as the penis is to males. therefore, female genital mutilation equates to the removal of the penis in males. so, since when was castration the same as the removal of the foreskin. i also think that removing any part of the human body is at least some form of mutilation. so the removal of the foreskin in males is mutilation as well. as for the cleanliness part of it, i had my biology teacher tell me before that if male circumcision was done because you didn't wash yourself right, she said, then why not cut off all your fingers because you're too lazy to wash in between them?
tralalala tralalala 9 years
Thank you Bahar! That's another thing, there are a hell of a lot more reports of US soldiers raping and killing Iraqi girls than the other way around. Actually, I haven't heard any reports of it happening the other way around...
bugness bugness 9 years
SOME people need to study Sociology and a little concept called ETHNOCENTRISM yeesh. Anyway, I'm glad to see that this ban is in place but hope that it will deal out harsher punishments to those who violate it.
melda melda 9 years
oh and I have no idea what is Female Circumcision is? we just circumcise 1-3 years old boys in our families!
melda melda 9 years
If you have seen how many children and girls our age have been killed by US army and how many dead girls body without head have been found in deserts of Iraq then you would tell who is barberic
melda melda 9 years
I am muslim not terrorist nore barberic
tralalala tralalala 9 years
ps- a large percentage of the recent terrorist plots/attempts going on in the UK have been by people that were born in the UK. It had more to do with muslims upset over how they're treated in Europe than anything yeah.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
To those people going off about bombing the middle east; there are just as many, if not more people that think the world would be a better place if people just bombed the crap out of America. I'm not going to lie....a lot of days I'm one of those people haha (in case you're wondering, I'm a caucasian Canadian). I know the majority of Americans are good people, the majority of my best friends are American. But your government is straight up messed up. Your country has killed WAY more middle eastern people than the middle east has killed Americans. Anyways, I'm going to stop before this becomes an even longer rant. To quote one of my favorite bands "America is the terrorist"
nycgirl nycgirl 9 years
Oh, and for those ignorant people wanting to bomb the Middle East-- that won't solve the problem. There are many radical schools of thought in places you wouldn't want to bomb-- London, Hamburg, Paris, etc.
nycgirl nycgirl 9 years
I have done research on FGM in the past, and many of the procedures are done secretly, in a relative's house, and the mother, aunt, grandmother, etc will do it with a kitchen knife. The other female relatives hold the girl down because there is usually NO anesthesia. It really is a wonderously cruel practice that proliferates because of 'honor'. On male circumcision-- I will attest that men who are not circumsized are not any dirtier or prone to infection than anyone else, but they do need to be more mindful of cleaning the area. I also feel like they really do get more pleasure and stimulation out of sex.
MissAntipodea MissAntipodea 9 years
I researched this issue when I was studying Human Rights at university. It is a horrendous practice and I can only hope that the rest of Africa places a ban on this too.
Advah Advah 9 years
To go back to the initial topic, I see male circumcision as a religious and/or medical operation, and I'm not saying that uncircumcised men aren't healthy but yes, circumcision has healthy benefits. Female circumcision is in no way related to health, it's about making sure a woman will not get any pleasure from intercourse, and will therefore not try to have any sexual experience before marriage or outside of marriage. While I understand people might not agree with male circumcision, I find it slightly offending to see these two procedures equated or offered any comparison..
meganekko meganekko 9 years
i sympathize with those who have died because of the procedure and have been caused pain by the procedure. something to remember is that there are cultures different from ours and beliefs different from our own. Part of being a united community and overall being united as human beings is respecting and understanding those differences. <3
N-e-e-c-a-l-l-e N-e-e-c-a-l-l-e 9 years
Im not going to divulge in the ignorant and ridiculous statements made above regarding bombing the middle east and such. However I do feel the need to say something. This website is a great outlet for people to share opinions and to interact in a friendly manner. But people spewing hatred and being blatently racist should not be tolerated on this site, or any site for that matter. I am aware that we cannot always help how we think/feel, however that is not the rest of our problem. Its your problem and you should be able to have an intelligent discussion about a serious issue without automatically attacking a certain ethnicity or geographic area because thats the first thing that comes to mind. How about just not commenting at all?? It appears I have divulged after all...oops. Im very passionate when it comes to tolerance and acceptance when it comes to other cultures. Remember this wasnt a personal attack on anyone specifically...just a general statement. Have a good night everyone! :)
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
Thank you for your explanation Zeinobia, that is what I love about this website, people from everywhere with different experiences and you learn something everyday. I do hope is criminalized but do agree with you that the muslim clerics and the christian heads have to continue to send the message that this mutilation is wrong and eventually minds will be changed. Good night.
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
Vanyvrgs ,I know that Cleric you were speaking about ironically after the anouncement of the grand Mufty no one heared his voice again , the grand Mufty is the highest Sunni position in Egypt , his decision is usually taken but after a research with other Clerics it is so silly and rude what he said really about the Egyptian girls , already they forgot him to ask about Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Islamic world anyhow I believe this man is from the people who are seeking media attention than anything else
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
Just to add something Vanyvrgs said , yes the problem already is in Upper Egypt ,already the poor 12 girl died in Qana that's beside Luxor and here is the problem the Upper Egypt can be considered more complicated and more private then the rest of Egypt and it is just like a country inside a country with its own traditions that are stronger laws and religions The ban surely is not enough and the parilment needs to restrict a strong law with restrict punshiment and even with that it won't make them stop ,the only way is through cleric ,Muslim and Christian , the orders should be given that the Friday and Sunday speeches should explain the dangers of this process ,the religion factor here can replace the law factor unfortunately the upper Egyptians can be hard to convince easily I mean this is not the only social problem they got ,it is only the ice berg
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
1. Female genital mutilation is not even tangentially related to male circumcision. It is a method of control and oppression and a ridiculously sexist practice. On top of that, the conditions many girls in Africa endure for their "procedure" make even the shoddiest American male circumcisions look positively stellar. 2. I refuse to go back and once again refute all the misconceptions regarding male circumcision with actual facts. I hope some commenters bother to do some actual research before making decisions based on mythical nonexistent medical benefits. 3. DearSugar - Muslims circumcise their males for religious reasons, so I'm not sure why the question is posed whether or not Egypt would believe routine male circumcision (which IS on the out in America) is a crime against men.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
Roger that cravin, I went up a bit farther up this time. I won't comment any more on that..... Oh, it was banned in 1996 again in Egypt but an Islamic cleric sued and the ban was overturned again in 1997. It has never been a crime, for it to be a crime punishable by a fine, jail you would need an act of their parliament/congress. the guy that sued when asked why it is not practiced at all in Morocco and Algeria should it be practiced in Egypt replied that the clitoris in Egyptian girls was larger than in those countries and had to be cut back to a normal size. Priceless..... Before this ban, just for your information the practice was prohibited unless needed for health reasons, but that was and is like getting a doctor's note here. Doctors would claim it was medically necessary for all and everyone had access.... Have a happy 4th of July everyone!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
This too is my last comment. I am sorry for feeling the way i do, because I know the majority of middle eastern men are not terrorists, but, to someone who is NOT from DC, and is NOT used to seeing the guns and such, I am not used to it and it keeps everything on my mind. (i don't know how to describe to you what looks scary to me) (and guess what, I have friends form the middle east too-coworkers as well and they are nice and i don't think they are terrorists)
nicachica nicachica 9 years
so in comment #10, a poster said "this is totally insane. People in the middle east are friggin ANIMALS living in a time-warp delusion where they think this, honor killings (total BS), and chopping peoples heads off is acceptable. We need to nuke the whole area." CravinSugar then latched onto that idea and agreed and then i disagreed with bombing the Middle East. so that's where the whole thread came into play even though, yes, it is not related to this particular topic. Sorry about that, but when i see something like that, it just seethes me to no end! and yes, i do ride the metro in d.c. because that's where i've lived all my life and i know what a pain in the butt it is when there are machine guns and dogs sniffing my bags but it's not an everyday occurrence and thank GOD i am not living in a country where bombs are going off all around me EVERYDAY. i have too many friends from the Middle East (one of whom was very falsely accused of being a terrorist in the hysteria days after 9/11) to call them all terrorists. most of the Middle Eastern guys i know like sucky house music and mojitos than reading the Koran and hating America so sorry to burst anyone's bubble! sorry for yet another off topic thread! i'm done commenting on this.
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