Marca FGM 2016- CC via Wikimedia
CAIRO – 21 January 2021: Egypt’s Cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft of new amendments to the Penal Code No. 58 of 1937, toughening punishment for crimes of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a statement from the Cabinet.
The new amendments stipulated that whoever conducts female gentile mutilation by removing part of the female’s genitals or modifying, mutilating, or inflicting injuries to those organs shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of no less than five years.
In case the crime led to a permanent handicap, the punishment shall be imprisonment for a period of no less than 7 years with hard labor. If the act led to death, the imprisonment shall be for a period of no less than 10 years.
As per the new amendments also, if the doer of the crime is a doctor or nurse, he or she shall receive the penalty of rigorous imprisonment (from 3 to 15 years in jail). If the crime resulted in a permanent disability, the penalty shall imprisonment for not less than 10 years with hard work, but if the act leads to death, the punishment shall not be not less than 15 years and not exceeding 20 years.
In addition to this, the court shall rule to dismiss the offender from his position for a period not exceeding 5 years if the crime was committed for a reason associated with his/her job. The facility where the crime committed shall be closed for the same period during which the perpetrator will be under suspension from his job.
The applicable anti-FGM law of 2016 stipulates that those who carry out the FGM shall face prison term from five to seven years, and the penalty shall be toughened to 15 years in prison in case the crime resulted in death or permanent disability.
FGM is considered an attack on religion; it damages the most sensitive organ in the female body. In Islam, protecting the body from any harm is a must and mutilation violates this rule; therefore, if the parents of females who undergo FGM consent to the abhorrent surgery, they should be punished.
Additional reporting by Fatma Bakry