Reason. Science. Progress.

Egypt teen dies after female circumcision

Egypt teen dies after female circumcision

0

Cairo: The death of a 13-year-old girl at a private clinic while undergoing a circumcision operation has once again highlighted that female genital mutilation continues to endanger lives in Egypt despite laws forbidding the practice.


The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.

The girl died on Thursday evening in a village in the Daqahliya governorate, north-east of Cairo.

Doctors and nurses in Egypt have been banned from performing procedures involving female genital mutilation (FGM) since 2007 following the death of two young girls after being subjected to such surgeries at public hospitals. The procedure was subsequently declared illegal in 2008.

The ban notwithstanding, poorer families continue to put youngsters at grave risk. According to national statistics, around 80 per cent of girls born to poor families become victims of FGM, as against only 30 per cent of girls from wealthy, educated backgrounds.

Written By: Ayman Sharaf
continue to source article at gulfnews.com

NO COMMENTS

  1. And what happened to this girl is a pale shadow of what happens to other girls, which could be described as female gang rape with knives.

    This is complete madness.

    When I was a child I read a short story called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson about a village that developed a tradition of holding a lottery each year. The winner was stoned to death. Even though nobody liked stoning or being stoned, they could not break the tradition. That is female circumcision. Another analogy would be vicious hazing rituals.

    I think we are gradually stopping it in Canada. I hope that is the wedge to block all manner of maltreatment of children in the name of religion.

  2. It is telling that there are so many deaths due to this procedure, even when performed in hospitals. I would be curious to know the numbers for male vs female circumcision (while fully understanding the different cultural significances)

    I would also like to hear the doctors side of the story. Is he/she performing these operations because they believe in them, or because they are trying to make a safe place to have this done vs. ofer some female relatives house.

    • In reply to #3 by BigDyTerminator:

      It is telling that there are so many deaths due to this procedure, even when performed in hospitals. I would be curious to know the numbers for male vs female circumcision (while fully understanding the different cultural significances)

      This document here (reference 18) indicates up to one third mortaility for FGM in an area of Sudan where antibiotics are not available. This paper from South Africa describes a huge reduction in complications after traditional circumcision through training of the attendants in clean technique etc. I cannot find any public data regarding hospital FGM (as it’s not, as far as I’m aware, publically available).

      I would also like to hear the doctors side of the story. Is he/she performing these operations because they believe in them, or because they are trying to make a safe place to have this done vs. ofer some female relatives house.

      It sounds like people went to him because he was available and cheap. The father appears to have believed going to a doctor was a safe option. Perhaps this is the case, given the setting. The doctor may have had some noble intention but I would suggest that doing two things at once (the anaesthesia and the surgery) is dicey at best. I suspect we will hear the ‘but I’ve done x number before and never had a problem’ defence…

      • Thank you for the links. I always fear the blind search when I only know a small bit about the topic. More than the basics, but not enough to avoid stupidity.

        In reply to #6 by Docjitters:

        In reply to #3 by BigDyTerminator:

        It is telling that there are so many deaths due to this procedure, even when performed in hospitals. I would be curious to know the numbers for male vs female circumcision (while fully understanding the different cultural significances)

        This document here (refere…

  3. The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.

    NO! these crazed fekwits caused her death and if the law in egypt has any issues at all over this incident it is with the parents.

    The second issue the egyptian govt should have is with educating those in poverty.

    • In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

      The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.

      NO! these crazed fekwits caused her death and if the law in egypt has any issues at all over this incident it is with the parents.

      The second issue…

      Exactly. Note how the authorities are all loudly piling on the doctor because of his “violation of the law” and possibly malpractice. The howling out loud stupidity of the practice and the factors driving those who perpetuate it is held harmless behind a cordon sanitaire of political correctness. NO. NO. NO. We cannot ever be ever seen ever offending® the religious, tradition and cultural sensibilities® of others.

    • In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

      The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.

      NO! these crazed fekwits caused her death and if the law in egypt has any issues at all over this incident it is with the parents.

      But the good thing is if they pursue the doctor there should be fewer doctors prepared to take the risk in future. So they may be shooting themselves in the foot.

    • In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

      The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.

      NO! these crazed fekwits …

      Agreed! on the other hand this could work out against FGM. Doctors may start refusing to such operations for fear of prosecution, or it could backfire like backstreet-abortions. ( I have not thought this through yet).

      • In reply to #16 by old-toy-boy:

        In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

        Agreed! on the other hand this could work out against FGM. Doctors may start refusing to su…

        Your hypothesis sadly may be correct. Which is only one of the reasons why I pitched the education comment afterwards

  4. Doctors are a product of – and act according to – the society which trains them. This is barbaric in the extreme, yet who is actually acting to stop it? Sadly, it is no easy matter to interfere in other nations. Poor kid.

    • In reply to #8 by TanyaK:

      Doctors are a product of – and act according to – the society which trains them. This is barbaric in the extreme, yet who is actually acting to stop it? Sadly, it is no easy matter to interfere in other nations. Poor kid.

      Very true. In the second link of my comment above, the authors trained locals to perform ritual circumcision properly, with attendant drop in complications. The actual cutting is secondary to the tribal coming-of-age associated with it so ‘educating’ them out of it entirely was not an option in their case (though this is not to say that stopping circumcision for its own sake is a bad idea).

  5. Of the current lists of barbaric acts and outrages against innocent children, gential mutilation should be near the top of it. There is no reason any state, religon or culture that allows this brutal torture to continue should be looked at as reasonable and deserving in a free-thinking society. They are slaves to opportunists that use torture to control them in this world. This is nasty business and the worst of it is they claim the moral high-road by the very act itself. We who appose are the immoral ones. What a joke, what an insult to compassion.

    • If stories like this make you angry then research the charities and organisations that are committed to ending this hideous sexual crime against children. Join them in demonstrations or by donating funds. There is a momentum on this issue to bring it to the top of the human rights agenda but it needs lots of support because it is so entrenched in the societies that practice it- whatever the degree, whatever the gender. All children need a voice and adults that will advocate for their rights to reach adulthood with bodily autonomy. We’re slowly getting there. And just because a trusted doctor(and nurses) practices it doesn’t make it ethical. No illness, no consent, no surgery. Doctors are not licenced to be cultural or religious brokers for their patients- especially for parents- who are not the patient.
      In reply to #10 by PY:

      Of the current lists of barbaric acts and outrages against innocent children, gential mutilation should be near the top of it. There is no reason any state, religon or culture that allows this brutal torture to continue should be looked at as reasonable and deserving in a free-thinking society. They…

      • In reply to #15 by Sweetgrass:

        If stories like this make you angry then research the charities and organisations that are committed to ending this hideous sexual crime against children. Join them in demonstrations or by donating funds. There is a momentum on this issue to bring it to the top of the human rights agenda but it need…

        YES, this is well said. Put personal energy and resources towards the solution. Yak or actually do something about it. Yes and I will. This was a good push, thanks.

  6. This is a classic example of dogma trumping common sense.
    It clearly demonstrates the poisonous poppycock on which Islam is based.
    They don’t seem to recognise that Allah might object to chopping off the labia which they believe he created!

  7. This issue is often conflated with Islam (I am usually quite happy to stick the boot in where Islam is concerned) but I wonder if this is correct. I know I may be on shaky ground here but I suspect this is more an African problem than a Muslim problem. How much FGM goes on outside Africa? By this I mean how many societies outside Africa have a tradition of FGM, not how many scumbag moneygrabbers will violate the hippocratic oath for personal gain in Harley Street. For that matter, how many non Muslim African countries have a tradition of FGM (if any). How much does tribalism play a part?

    Until we understand the root cause of the problem, be that custom, religion, tradition or (more likely) a complex mishmash of many roots, we are unlikely to arrive at an effective treatment for the disease.

    • We need to ask the right questions – Most of these FGM’s are perpetrated by the female relatives who know the dreadful consequences (usually death, disease and lifelong pain). They do this because if they don’t the girl will be shunned by her community – will not likely get married but be abused and without family and their society’s acceptance she will die.This is why it is still prevalent in poorer communities where food and shelter is a 24/7 burden. We need to ask when this “law” was decided and who decided it was necessary and why it was necessary. What does it achieve? Well it is intended to prevent women from enjoying sex. Any way you tell it that is what it is about and to justify such arrogance it is cloaked in religion and tradition.It is all about power and control with malice. We can rationalize the practices of of such abuses far in the past but there is no argument that any one can make to justify it today and until the men in these practicing communities can be educated and freed from their insecurities the economics of their lives will enable this horror to continue. As to it being an African or Muslim problem – while the African communities were generally more isolated and poor – the Muslim communities were leading the world in science and math and literature and yet were determined to enforce this practice. Again it is not about religion or tradition, it is about the human condition and the need for a pecking order which translates into power and control. In this case – with malice. In reply to #17 by SomersetJohn:

      This issue is often conflated with Islam (I am usually quite happy to stick the boot in where Islam is concerned) but I wonder if this is correct. I know I may be on shaky ground here but I suspect this is more an African problem than a Muslim problem. How much FGM goes on outside Africa? By this I…

      • In reply to #20 by Artist:

        We need to ask the right questions – Most of these FGM’s are perpetrated by the female relatives who know the dreadful consequences (usually death, disease and lifelong pain). They do this because if they don’t the girl will be shunned by her community – will not likely get married but be abused and…Again it is not about religion or tradition, it is about the human condition and the need for a pecking order which translates into power and control. In this case – with malice.

        Not about religion or tradition? Only about the human condition? So religion has absolutely no bearing on the human condition? Suddenly all those cases of genital mutilation popping up in India and in the slums of Latin America make sense. Oh… wait, that only happens in certain Muslim communities in India and doesn’t happen at all in Latin America.

    • In reply to #17 by SomersetJohn:

      This issue is often conflated with Islam (I am usually quite happy to stick the boot in where Islam is concerned) but I wonder if this is correct. I know I may be on shaky ground here but I suspect this is more an African problem than a Muslim problem. How much FGM goes on outside Africa? By this I mean how many societies outside Africa have a tradition of FGM, not how many scumbag moneygrabbers will violate the hippocratic oath for personal gain in Harley Street. For that matter, how many non Muslim African countries have a tradition of FGM (if any). How much does tribalism play a part?

      Until we understand the root cause of the problem, be that custom, religion, tradition or (more likely) a complex mishmash of many roots, we are unlikely to arrive at an effective treatment for the disease.

      Imagine there is a cult on the loose in your neighborhood. Central to their religious belief is cutting off the tip of the small toe of people. They grab you and cut off the tip of your small toe. There you now hobble down the street bleeding profusely and the first and only thought that comes to your mind, of course, is to commission an anthropological/sociological/theological study. Headed, for good measure, by Scott Atran.

  8. “The family of the girl, identified as Soher, filed an official complaint, accusing the doctor who performed the operation of having caused her death.” It was the family who caused her death by insisting and subjecting her to having this pointless illegal operation in the first place.

  9. Aber ration: “But the good thing is if they pursue the doctor there should be fewer doctors prepared to take the risk in future. So they may be shooting themselves in the foot.”

    Sorry, reply isn’t working for me. This might be a good thing, but it might cause some families to go ahead with the procedure without a doctor of any kind, which would make it more dangerous.

  10. Genital ‘cutting ‘ has been practised on both male and female in many cultures around the world. Penile subincision for example has been fairly widespread, particularly amongst indigenous Australians. It has many disadvantages but ritual is a powerful force. The subincised penis can have a resemblance to a vulva: associated with ritual bloodletting. Male jealousy? Male domination? Probably some spirit told them to do it, usually the case!

  11. Tragic. I have no idea what the significance of circumcision is in males or females and you know what? I don’t wish to know. I don’t think I need to know in order to deduce it is pointless! The parents can blame the doctors all they like but did they not send her there for it to be done? If that is the case then the blood is on their hands too.

  12. There is still far too much “political correctness” with inaction for fear of offending religious custom.

    MPs urge more action on female genital mutilation

    Female genital mutilation is not being properly tackled in the UK as police and social workers are afraid of being seen as politically incorrect, MPs say.

    Ministers are spending £35m abroad on ending the practice – illegal in the UK but a cultural tradition in some parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

    The International Development Committee said the efforts overseas were being “undermined” by inaction at home.

    The Home Office said new initiatives aim to eradicate the “abuse” in the UK.

    FGM, also known as female circumcision, has been illegal in the UK since 1985. Laws were later extended to cover British citizens and permanent residents involved in the practice overseas.

    But the committee’s report said the government’s message was “weakened” by the fact that an estimated 20,000 girls were at risk of FGM in the UK and it was “unforgivable” that there have been no prosecutions to date.

    • In reply to #28 by Alan4discussion:

      There is still far too much “political correctness” with inaction for fear of offending religious custom.

      MPs urge more action on female genital mutilation

      Female genital mutilation is not being properly tackled in the UK as police and social workers are afraid of being seen as politically incorre…

      Indeed, just note the trepidation, the handwringing, the nailbiting right here on the Foundation For Reason And Science amongst too many of those commenting on this and similar articles again and again twisting and squirming to avoid calling a crime criminal and stupidity stupid.

  13. Responding to #23 – Godbuster’s comment on #20 – Artist. You did not like my choice of words – the human condition – perhaps I should have said that human beings as a species are territorial and when living in communities or tribes they are less fearful and more secure with a leader and rules to live by – a pecking order. I was not discounting religion, tradition or rituals nor was there any intention to limit my premis to Africa or Muslim communities – the same argument can be made for many undesireable practices e.g. the binding of female infants’ feet in China. My point was that in our distant past superstition and the not knowing or understanding of fearful happenings enabled the initiation of some dreadful practices.
    Most laws were laid down by men and the abuse of this power to perpetuate these atrocities cannot be denied. But it is shameful that men over the centuries policed these “laws” by cloaking them in religion and tradition. Most of the women in these communities believe they have no choice or that there choice is to submit and hope to live through it.
    The faithful all over the world in most religions have been poorly served by the men entrusted with the care and communion of their souls on earth. I don’t believe any God would create such amazing physical and intellectual beings and then decide that half of them or that the female half should be mutilated. To what end? None that any God would consider desireable.

Leave a Reply