LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A legal loophole that permitted girls to undergo genital cutting, or clitoridectomy, has been closed by a new Egyptian law, Reuters report.
Genital cutting of girls, often referred to as female genital mutilation or circumcision, is banned in Egypt although the practice remains widespread as a rite of passage for girls and is often viewed as a way to protect their chastity.
The health ministry said in a statement it had now outlawed the practice entirely after an 11-year-old girl died while undergoing the procedure at a private medical clinic.
Budour Ahmed Shaker died last week in the southern province of Minya after she was given a heavy dose of anesthetic, security sources said.
The health ministry’s step cancelled out a 1996 provision to the law which had permitted the operation “in situations of illness” should doctors advise it, the health ministry said.
Egypt’s state-appointed Grand Mufti, in the strongest statement yet on the issue by the government’s official arbiter of Islamic law, said on Sunday Islam forbade the “harmful tradition of circumcision” of girls.