The social norm that violates women's rights: FGM (2)

News Center: The FGM doesn't return any health or psychological benefits to the circumcised women, but it causes a permanent disability that they carry with them throughout their life, they remember it as usurpation. Religious opinions differ and politics for their interests stand as a barrier without a radical solution that ends the suffering of millions of women. The first shock is that few of the fragile laws will not hold the perpetrator accountable.
The pain caused by circumcision does not end when the wounds are healed
- From a psychological side, circumcised women and activists against the FGM confirm that the psychological effects of circumcision is similar to the effects of rape on the raped victim, casting a shadow on the girls from the first moment of their circumcision, they lose confidence in themselves and their love for life and feeling of shame that they are a mutilated female or half a human being- The circumcised women bear the pain of experience until the last moments of their life. Many of them say that the blade is still visible in front of them as if it happens today despite years have passed.
- The circumcised girls are exposed to shock at first, the girls don’t realize what exactly happened, and the physical pain overwhelms their thought and doesn’t find an explanation for what happened, especially since most of the circumcised women face it while they are just children.
- Some circumcised women always talk about circumcision with the same momentum even the years have passed, and some of them prefer repression and refuse to discuss circumcision but in both cases the circumcised women try to explain what happened to them to find convincing answers and the circumcised women feel permanent worries and inability and suspicion of everyone around them, after they lose their self-confidence, they have fear and depression, and mood swings between calm and sudden anger.
- This type of wound “circumcision” is difficult to be healed, and the girls suffer from it for a long time. After the circumcision and wound healing process, the circumcised women suffer from urinary problems that include urinary retention, pain, genital infections, ulcers, and abscesses. If these infections aren't treated, that leads to kidney failure, blood poisoning, and death.
- The marriage leads to removal and damage of the tissues surrounding the genitals and to a lack of desire in the women and a feeling of extreme pain, which causes marital problems lead to divorce. The Health Committee in the Egyptian Parliament said that more than 70% of divorces cause due to circumcision, and in Sudan, the situation is the same. 
And the number of divorce cases in Egypt in 2015 was 12,500 and in 2016 the number of cases brought to the courts was about 4000 cases filed by women who suffered from the mistreatment of their husbands due to circumcision
- Many circumcised women are forced to have a cesarean delivery after a difficult delivery, and suffer from severe bleeding afterward.
Religion doesn't resolve the controversy about circumcision:
Muslim religious scholars differ about whether the FGM is permissible or not. Al-Azhar scholars say that female circumcision is hated and this opinion also depends on religious scholars in AL-Sham and Iraq, and even in Saudi Arabia, which takes a Qur'an and Sunnah as its constitution, doesn't perform FGM operations.
The religious scholars confirm that the prohibition of FGM is disgraceful and that it is an attack on the dignity and rights of women. Doctors say that circumcision operations need a medical process and not linked to the purity of women because these allegations aren't true.
While the other opinion, which contradicts the first opinion depends on several prophetic sayings, but most of them are related to male circumcision and have nothing to do with girls, the four Sunnah doctrines’ thought differs as to whether FGM is permissible or not, some of them are obligated and some of them say that they are honorable to women and not binding. And the Christian religion prohibits circumcision for males and females as it is both a crime and a sin.
- In the Jewish religion, the Jews emphasize on circumcising of males on the eighth day of their birth, but the circumcision of girls are forbidden but it was a practice used by the Jews in ancient times in Egypt before the emergence of the Prophet Moses, and currently Israeli law doesn't criminalize the circumcision of girls and there are cases of circumcision spreading between Bedouins of the Negev and the Flasha "Ethiopian Jewish”.
Laws and penalties for the perpetrators of the crime of the FGM:
The criminalization of FGM began in Egypt in 2008, and the prison sentence was three months and up to two years and could be replaced by paying a bond, but in 2016 an amendment to the Penal Code was proposed and according to that amendment, the prison sentence was increased for the people practicing FGM and the prison period for them is no less than five or seven years and aggravated imprisonment has been demanded if the girls suffer from permanent disability or lost their life.
- Mauritania punishes the perpetrators of circumcision with three years' imprisonment, a fine, and the country works to increase awareness of the risks of circumcision
- In 1946, the British colonial rule in Sudan enacted a law criminalizing FGM, and in 1973 enacted an article in Sudanese law that prohibits it completely, but a setback took place in 1991 when the law was abolished and FGM became legal, and the situation didn't differ before and after the prohibition, and circumcision operations were carried out in all cases.
- There is no difference among countries that allow FGM in Africa and countries that have laws criminalizing it because society isn't ready to accept it and the laws shock with a solid wall represented by the idea that FGM save the honor and purity of the girls and a religious duty and usually cannot be abandoned
Circumcision doesn’t exist in Europe, but immigrants carry it with them. Therefore, many operations took place there, and although it didn't enact a special law against FGM, France punished those who practiced the FGM and thus became the first European country to prosecute the perpetrators of FGM.
- Britain has criminalized it since 1985, and tightened its punishment in 2003 to prevent parents from performing FGM operations outside the country, and in America, FGM has been banned since 1996, and the doctor performing the operation is punished with life imprisonment
- Ireland has criminalized it by law since 2012, and the perpetrator is punished even if they perform the operation outside the country.
International endeavors to eliminate FGM:
The United Nations has criminalized FGM and considers it as a violation of the rights of women and girls, and accordingly sets an international day to combat it on the sixth of February of each year. Free from circumcision, and the idea was drawn from the first Nigerian lady, Stella Obasanjo, who put it in 2005 at the conference of the African International Committee on Traditional Practices that negatively affects the health of women and children. In 1993, the UNICEF limited it as might be ended in one generation.
- UNICEF allocated a budget of about $ 100,000 to efforts to combat FGM, but the amount wasn't sufficient. So it launched the Equality Now Network, an international network founded in 1992, and aims to protect and promote women's rights throughout the world by organizing campaigns to increase funding until the UNICEF budget to combat circumcision has reached $ 91 million.
The United Nations issued the first non-binding resolution on FGM on December 20, 2012, coinciding with the start of the movement of factions followed by the Islamic trend in several countries since the Arab movement began in the spring of 2011.
The resolution, which won the support of 110 countries, including fifty African countries (out of 58), calls for taking all measures and enacting laws to prohibit FGM and protect women and girls, end the policy of impunity and provide health and psychological care for circumcised women
On the occasion of the International Day for intolerance for FGM, in 2017, UNICEF and UNFPA announced a plan to eliminate the phenomenon by 2030.
Campaigns to eliminate FGM:
African governments are launching awareness-raising campaigns to combat FGM, and feminist movements and activists participate in them widely, and in Sudan, the campaigns helped to reduce the percentage of FGM from 37% to 31.5% in 2015, and the habit has become a pariah among educated segments, but the country  still range in eighth globally according to UNICEF report published in 2018.
In Egypt, the campaigns targeted mosques, streets, and courts and this contributed to the decrease in the percentage of girls aged (15-17), from 74.4% in 2008 to 61% in 2015.
On June 20, 2019, the regional conference on eliminating child marriage and FGM was organized by the National Council for Women in Egypt in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and by the African Union in partnership with the European Union, UNO, and Plan International, which is one of the largest organization for the development of children in the world
To coincide with the International Day for Tolerance of Circumcision, the Egyptian National Committee launched an online campaign to protect it from FGM through the media and social networks.
In the Puntland region of Somalia, women's groups are putting pressure on the authority of the autonomous region to enact a law banning FGM in the country. The Modog Women’s Development Network says FGM doesn't prevent rape, but increases FGM and it increases rape and family allegations cases and that practicing FGM causes difficulties to explain rape is incorrect, while other organizations in the country are demanding the issuance of a religious fatwa that totally prohibits circumcision because of the authority of religion on society and awareness campaigns target both women and men.
Feminist movements, societies, and activists in Africa and in the world strive to stop violations of women's rights, and Egyptian feminist movements is the enactment of a law criminalizing FGM in the country in 2008 and it is considered one of the most important achievements of the movements. Article No 242 states that "The man shall be sentenced to prison for a period of not less than three months and not exceeding two years or be fined not less than five thousand pounds.” A year later, as a result of the feminist struggle, the Minister of Health issued the Article No.271 in order to prohibit the doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel from practicing FGM.
In the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa affiliated to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, it was stated that many steps are taken to give greater attention to women's rights in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against them, and condemn all obstacles that limit their physical and psychological development.
But, laws went against the traditions of society that prevail in the end, but hope remains with the possibility of ends the FGM, which has become more than a phenomenon; it is a crime causing the death of 10 to 30% of girls in Sudan every year. With their rights, religious institutions work to correct the concept of religion on the issue of FGM as Al-Azhar is currently doing by launching wide campaigns to combat FGM with the participation of doctors to give information about the dangers of FGM on the body and soul of women.