Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, a practice that affects nearly 140 million girls and women worldwide, the majority in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). In November 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).
The resolution declared a global ban on the practice that came to enthrone years of exerted efforts by civil society organisations. While the UN resolution is not legally binding, it puts international and political pressure on governments to take the necessary steps to end the practice; Egypt included.
After years of women’s rights advocacy and awareness against FGM/C (interchangeable with “female circumcision”) in Egypt, there was a remarkable drop in the prevalence rate of the practice from 97% to 91.1% among women aged 15-49, according to the Demographic Health Survey carried out by the United Nations Population Fund in 2008. (Sarah El Masry/Daily News Egypt)