Egypt: Tougher penalties – Parliament approved a bill making female genital mutilation a felony

On 31 August parliament approved a bill submitted by the cabinet which amends the current law criminalising the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law considers FGM a felony and will be met by tougher penalties.

According to the amended law, anybody who performs FGM will face a penalty of between five and seven years in jail, instead of the three months to two years which was designated in the 2008 law. The amendment also imposes a stricter penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment if the practice leads to death or a permanent deformity. Those who escort victims to the procedure will face jail sentences ranging from one to three years.

The drive for tougher sentences follows the recent death of a 17-year-old, Mayar Moussa, of complications during an FGM operation in a private hospital in Suez governorate. More: Al-Ahram Weekly