Plan International has expressed shock and deep sorrow over the death of a 12-year-old girl who died this week in Assiut province of southern Egypt after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).
According to reports the girl was taken to a doctor by her parents where the procedure was performed. Egypt's public prosecutor has reportedly ordered the arrests of the deceased girl’s parents and the physician involved.
The Egyptian law has criminalised FGM, but it remains practised in Egypt.
Strongly condemning the practice of FGM, Mudasser Siddiqui, Plan International Egypt Country Director, said: “FGM is a deeply harmful practice, a horrific act of violence against girls that must be eradicated. It is a traumatic and painful procedure for those forced to endure it, causing infection, haemorrhage and sadly – as in this tragic case – sometimes even death.
“For those who survive, it leads to long-term psychological harm, chronic pain, chronic urinary problems, fistula and other complications. Many girls remain at risk of FGM and there are absolutely no medical benefits to the practice. FGM is based on deeply-rooted social norms, misconceptions and damaging gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls.
“Tackling these views and changing attitudes is critical to eliminating FGM. We are working hard to achieve this in the communities where we work, in orchestrated efforts with all other government and civil society actors under the umbrella of the Egyptian National Committee for the elimination of FGM, led by the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.
Plan International trusts that the Egyptian government through the relevant authorities and the National committee for the elimination of FGM will ensure that those who caused the death of this innocent girl will be punished.”
According to the WHO, more than 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM annually.
More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.
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About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.
We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.
We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 75 countries.