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Eradicating female genital mutilation/cutting in Alexandria

Fighting the bad tradition of cutting the genitals of young girls to control their sexuality 

Unfortunately, Egypt is in the top three of countries where Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the circumcision of young girls, is practiced. Roughly 92 percent of Egyptian adult women have undergone FGM, according to the 2014 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). The number has decreased since 2000, but it is still alarmingly high, also considering that the practice was criminalized in Egypt in 2008. The majority of females undergo female circumcision between the ages of 9 and 12. 

FGM is considered one of the most aggressive forms of violence against women. It causes severe and devastating physical, psychological and social consequences for the young girls who undergo it. Traditionally it was practiced mostly by persons who are not medically trained, but nowadays more than 70% of FGM practice is performed by medical professionals. This reduces the chances of infection and complications, but also means that increasing numbers of medically trained staff act against the law.

FGM is a habit… not religion: Top level Egyptian Islamic and Christian leaders have strongly spoken out against the practice, pointing out that it is not mention in the Qu’ran or Bible. Yet the perception still persists that FGM increases purity and modesty, and would secure that women remain virgins until they marry.

Caritas Egypt, Alexandria established the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) department in 2001. Our goal is to eliminate the FGM in Alexandria governorate, through:

  • Active partnerships with different governmental bureaus
  • Building capacities of local partner NGOs in nine communities
  • Raising awareness about the dangers of FGM
  • Identification and training of positive deviants
  • Home visits to families with girls at risk of FGM practice
  • Establishment of counseling units for the provision of counseling services.
  • Strengthening the eradication of FGM amongst authorities, community and religious leaders.

Facts & figures

Beneficiaries

  • Girls and women at risk of FGM
  • Parents and other family members of girls at risk
  • Health care providers working in Motherhood and childhood health centers (MCH)
  • Female clients of MCH centers
  • Counselor and clients utilizing counseling services
  • Recently graduated medical and paramedical students
  • Positive deviants
  • Community leaders, key persons, authority, policy makers and partner NGOs.

Where: Alexandria – rural areas and suburbs

Sponsors: Misereor, Missio

Local partners: Nine NGOs in the nine communities in Alexandria Governorate: Lambrouzo, El Mandarah, Karmouz, Elwardian, SidiBisher, KobryElNamous, El Nahdaa Community, Hager ElNouwatia, Abd El Kader (Kebly and Bahary)

Results of the current project phase

  • Established effective partnership and liaisons with a partner NGO in each selected community (total nine NGOs)
  • Established partnership and liaison with:
    • Directorate of Health Affairs, Department of Children and Maternity
    • Directorate of Awqaf in Alexandria
    • Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of El Bahira
  • Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University
  • Recruited 15 PDs in each selected community (total 135 PDs).
  • 135 PDs now taking the lead of the intervention program among their fellow citizens in the 9 communities
  • The project so far managed to reach out to 6,550most at risk girls “MARGs”
  • 9,632 clients received counseling sessions, 9,532 of them were females
  • Counselling unit is now acting as a hub for FGM related issues
  • 139 Benefited from the mobile counseling service
  • The project managed to save 2050 MARGs from the FGM practice
  • The intervention prevention messages reached to a wide diversity of beneficiaries:
    • 363 students in 6 nursing schools
    • 148 final year students of faculty of nursing
    • 60 recent graduate doctors
    • 556 kindergarten instructors
    • 1,707 beneficiaries from the 4 conducted awareness campaigns
  • 14,816 community members benefited from 282 community activities
  • Significant changes were observed regarding the community perception and attitude towards FGM practice

More info

Mary Ramzy
FGM Project Responsible
E: mary.ramzy@caritasalex.org
T: (03)4806306/7

M: (+20)1224036127