Cairo, 27 May 2019- The UN in Egypt applauds the positive and encouraging steps towards renewing the call of action for a Social Contract to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Egypt.
On 20th May, the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood held the first meeting of the National Taskforce for Ending FGM. The taskforce is comprised of representatives of all concerned Ministries in addition to civil society, and development partners.
The National Taskforce aims to concert all efforts to end this harmful practice which constitutes as a serious violation of the rights of women and girls. This approach is in line with the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, specifically the protection pillar concerned with Protection of Women and Girls from All Forms of Violence, including FGM. It contributes to Egypt’s national efforts towards the achievement of SDG5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
The National Taskforce builds on the Government of Egypt’s unprecedented efforts in ending this harmful practice by stiffening the FGM criminalization law. Under the revised law, perpetrators are punished with a rigorous imprisonment of 5-7 years, instead of the previous sentence that ranged from 3 months to 3 years, in addition the crime is now treated as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Moreover, the punishment could also reach 15 years of rigorous imprisonment, if the crime leads to permanent disability or death. Accomplices to the crime also face from one year to three years’ imprisonment.
The UN is looking forward to working closely with the Government of Egypt, development partners and civil society to end this harmful practice against Egyptian women and girls.