17-year-old girl dies during medicalised FGM procedure in Egypt.

We are saddened by the news of the death of a 17-year-old girl in Egypt while undergoing FGM at a hospital. Despite legislation banning the practice since 2008, FGM is still prevalent in the country.

According to a UNICEF report published in 2013, Egypt has the highest number of women and girls who have undergone FGM: 27.2 million.

We are gravely concerned about the medicalisation of FGM - where FGM is performed by healthcare professionals - especially in Egypt, where, according to the UN, 82% percent of FGM cases are performed by trained medical personnel. FGM has no benefits to health whatsoever and the consequences of FGM can affect a woman throughout her life. FGM carried out by trained doctors can have even more severe, long term consequences, as stated by Dr Pierre Foldes.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently published guidelines addressed to healthcare professionals calling for an end to the medicalisation of FGM. WHO states that medicalisation violates medical ethics since FGM is a harmful practice. It perpetuates FGM and the risks of the procedure outweigh any perceived benefit, while medicalisation might also confer a sense of legitimacy on the practice or give the impression that the practice is harmless. All forms of FGM are a violation of human rights and the right to physical, mental and psychological integrity.


See also:

UN Egypt statement

WHO guidelines on the management of health complications from female genital mutilation

Article in Forced Migration Review May 2015: The medicalisation of female genital mutilation by Pierre Foldes and Frédérique Martz


The End FGM European Network is an European umbrella organisation of fifteen national NGOs working to ensure sustainable European action to end female genital mutilation.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

For all further information regarding this issue, please contact Natalie Kontoulis nkontoulis@endfgm.eu or call 0032 489 709 272.