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What’s the point of the Egyptian Revolution if it doesn’t stop Female Genital Mutilation?

Januar 14th, 2012 | Posted by Ines Laufer in Allgemein | Kommentare

Today, over 90% of Egyptian girls face the violence of Female Genital Mutilation - in an environment of general male violence against women, harassment, intimidation, deprivation and oppression

The following great piece from Hank Pellissier dates back to February 2011 – which could explain his obvious optimism that the „revolution“ could have lead to a democratisation.

While today – one year later – there are worries indicated that the signs in Egypt are more pointed to an Islamist regime than to democracy – the essence and questions of this article remain more actual than ever:

„What’s the point of the Egyptian Revolution if it doesn’t stop female genital mutilation?
If girls are chopped bloody, sexually-deducted, was the 18-day struggle at all productive?
Egypt gave itself a Mubarak-tomy – Now its time to end clitoridectomy
Let us condemn F-G-M“

Like in ALL cultures in which the mutilation of the female population is accepted and legitimate, FGM in Egypt takes place in an environment of general male violence against women, harassment, intimidation, deprivation and oppression:

„…even with Mubarak gone, it’s often a nasty men’s world in the Nile nation.

“Rampant sexual harassment, public fondling and groping of women… is used as a way to keep women indoors,” writes Asra Nomani in theHuffington Post. A 2008 survey by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights says 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign visiting females experience sexual harassment, and the Arab Human Development Report (2009) claims 35% of all Egyptian women have been physically attacked, a figure they suggest is grossly under-reported. The 2010 Global Gender Gap Index, a Swiss study that rates progress towards women’s equality, places Egypt in the international cellar: #125 out of 134 nations surveyed. Egypt’s rank is abysmal because it excludes women from good jobs, especially managerial positions, and only 2% of parliament is female.“

But despite the horrendous dimension of the sadistic crime called Female

Like any other violence against children, FGM has NOTHING to do with lack of education or a low social status - but has a clear intention: "To terrorize young females into lifelong submission to male authority"

Genital Mutilation in Egypt,

„Abolishing FGM unfortunately was not an agenda item that any Egyptian revolutionary spokesperson mentioned, and it was generally ignored as a subject of discussion by international media until CBS reporter Lara Logan was assaulted in Tahrir Square on February 11 by a mob of up to 200 men…“

Although Female Genital Mutilation remains to be one of the most widespread systematic crimes perpetrated against minor girls with more than 200 million victims worldwide, Pellissier rightly observes that

„The civilized outcry against FGM is not 100% universal, due to “cultural relativism” infecting some circles of feminism.“

and concludes

„Let’s hope, and insist, that this cessation of abuse becomes a permanent feature in the new, ancient nation. The words “Egyptian Revolution” have a glorious sound, but not if we simultaneously hear the screams of girls….“

 

Fotos (c) Flickr / Aida el Baradei (1) / Francisco Abadal (2)


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2 Responses

  • Thank you, Hank Pellissier, for this great article.

    I totally agree with you that „condemnation of FGM in the Western world is substantial“ – but if you would dare to have a profound look at the true engagement of the European organisations you quote – you would have to admit that not only the „The civilized outcry against FGM is not 100% universal, due to “cultural relativism” – but even the so-called activists are supporting these crimes to persist in the West!

    Do you know that for years, UNICEF has been trivialising FGM as „circumcision“ or „cutting“ and is continuously and deliberatly overriding the African consensus that the correct term is Female Genital Mutilation, FGM? Do you knwo that UNICEF has been forcing African organisations to give up the right term FGM – by threating them to deny funds if they would not? And do you know that millions of girls are being mutilated in UNICEF’s projects in Africa – because UNICEF refuses to protect them with simple measures such as conditioned development aid?

    And Hank, do you know that in 2007, FSAN in the Netherlands was in the forefront of the fight against Ayan Hirsi Ali’s pioneering proposal to protect girls at risk in the Netherlands by regular medical check-ups?

    D you know that FORWARD UK refuses to interfere when FGM is perpetrated in UK? That even if they have concrete information about time and place, they are NOT informing the police or other authorities to save the girls?

    Do you know that in 2009, the Somalian head of FORWARD Germany was engaged in a media-campaign against a court decision designed to protect a 10-year-old girl from being taken to Ethiopia and put at risk of FGM? Do you know that FORWARD was claiming, that there would be „no risk“ for the girl – in a country with 90% of FGM victims?

    Do you you know that there is NOT a single so-called „Anti-FGM-organisation“ in Europe that – if lead by immigrant women/victims – would be willing to protect a girl by involving the authorities?
    They would never blow the whistles on their fellow countrymen – at the cost of the girls: To them, patriotism comes first!

    And much the worse, they are hindering amainly the implementation of effective prevention measures, such as medical check ups of girls at risk…

    Are you aware of the fact that up to 80% of girls from the High-risk-groups continue to be mutilated in front of our doors – here in the West – without protection and with help of so-called „activists“?

    YES – we should care about Egypt’s women and girls – as indeed, FGM is a transhuman issue.

    But we first of all, we should start to fulfill our very own duties – and make sure that these crimes are prevented, stopped and prosecuted here in the Western countries – as in this field, they are NOT better than Egypt yet!

  • Zeinab says:

    Revolutions are motivated by a desire for self determination. If you asked most women in Egypt whether they favour the continuation of circumcision for their daughters, they will say that they do.



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