FGM and Violence Against Women in Egypt
I read this article on the Egyptian Streets site. I wonder, what would the orange color on the Pyramids do to stop violence against women. The problem is more serious than promoting some organization’s propaganda. For long time Egyptian women have been suffering from violence perpetrated by men. Physical abuse has become an accepted means of control. Women on the other hand believe that men have a legitimate right to practice abuse. Men follow a verse in The Quran that encourages them to remind women of their duties with physical gesture.
They believe that FGM would control the sexual urges of women and keep then chaste. Although Egypt has a law forbidding such practice, FGM is practiced widely. They believe that circumcision would harness women’s sexual urges and ensure their conjugal faithfulness to their husbands.
Unless law is enforced in Egypt, I have no hope to see changes, and young girls will continue going through this barbaric practice. Egypt needs a new set of women judges presiding in courts to take this mutilation seriously.
AlAzhar needs to disallow religious doctrine promoting violence against women even if it means updating the Quran. Egypt must adopt and implement new and strict punishment laws against the violence practiced against women. Egypt needs serious education to empower girls and teach them to refuse/report attempts of FGM. Until the above is implemented, girls and women have no other recourse to stop violence and FGM.
Egypt’s pyramids and the sphinx were donned in orange light on Wednesday as part of the United Nations universal campaign to eliminate violence against women.
The Cairo tower also shone in orange light as part of the campaign.
“We need this eye-catching colour everywhere so that the message is loud and clear: we all need to work together to stop violence against women and girls right now,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement.
Many human rights violations are categorised under gender-based violence (GBV), which include sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, and trafficking of women and girls.
A study by UN Women in 2013 found that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women and girls reported having been subjected to verbal or physical harassment.
According to the “Female genital mutilation/cutting: What might the future hold?” report published by UNICEF in 2014, over 90 percent of Egyptian women aged between 15-40 have undergone FGM.
In 2008, Egypt’s Demographic and Health Survey (2008 EDHS), conducted on behalf of the ministry of health, also recorded that at least 91 percent of Egyptian females in the age group 15-49 were subjected to FGM.
November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which lasts for 16 days. It ends on December 10, which corresponds to Human Rights Day.