Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Egyptian parliament criminalizes female circumcision despite mounting conservative criticism

The Egyptian parliament passed new legislation criminalizing female circumcision on June 7, despite fierce resistance from conservative theologians and members of parliament, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Even though female gentile mutilation was banned many years ago in Egypt, the practice is still considered to be widespread. According to the article, some 70 percent of Egyptian girls are believed to have undergone the procedure.

The new law, in addition to criminalizing female circumcision, also allows women for the first time to register their children without giving the father’s name. Under the old law, women could not register their out-of-wedlock children.

Members of parliament that belong to Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and conservative religious scholars have strongly objected to the law. They point to Koranic scripture in defense of both the surgery and naming rights. According to the article, they maintain that the removal of a girl’s clitoris is necessary to tame her sexual desires and that a woman carrying a child out of wedlock is a prostitute.

For the full article, click here.


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