Even though it’s against the law, female genital mutilation (FGM) is alive and well and still happening in Egypt today. One young 13-year-old girl, Nermine El Haddad, lost her life because her ignorant parents forced her to undergo the painful torture of FGM. And the doctor who mutilated her will hopefully not only lose his license but be put in jail for a very long time.
How a medical professional, a doctor who is supposed to save lives would perform such an unnecessary operation on a young girl, is unfathomable. These are highly educated people who should know better, and he should have refused to operate on the girl and reported the parents to authorities. FGM has no basis in Islam, and is a practice that needs to be put to rest forever. No young girl should have her genitals torn to pieces because of some backward tradition.
Thankfully, the Egyptian government is not taking the situation lightly after the poor little girl bled to death, and the parents, knowing what they did was illegal, buried the child so as not to get caught.
Minister of Family Mouchira Khattab called for Egyptian Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud to carry out an investigation into the death of the young girl, Nermine El Haddad, who was 13-years-old. In the statement, Khattab asked for all legal steps to be taken against everyone responsible for this crime.
The doctor, Fatheya Mohamed Ahmed Eweida, has been arrested, but only after another doctor found out about what happened and reported the incident.
In spite of the 2007 ban, which bans doctors from performing FGM in hospitals and a law enacted in 2008 (childhood law number 126) which makes it a crime, the practice continues, especially in the south of Egypt. Egypt is sponsoring programmes to help educate the people, but some traditions, tragically, die hard. In the meantime, young girls are being mutilated and in some cases dying because of ignorance. Now Nermine’s parents have no child because they chose to continue a horrific tradition that demonstrates how little women are thought of. Hopefully the parents will also be prosecuted for being an accessory to what amounts to the murder of their child. Perhaps other parents will reconsider doing the same to their young girls.