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Egyptian Doctors Launch Campaign Against FGM

The campaign follows the death of a 12-year-old girl.

White Coats

Following the death of a 12-year-old girl after she underwent female genital mutilation, or FGM, doctors in Egypt have joined forces to take time away from surgery and campaign against the life-threatening dangers of FGM. 

Named 'White Coats', the campaign plastered posters throughout Cairo metro stations with the slogans “No to FGM” and “FGM is a Crime.” Doctors participating in the campaign stood in their white coats handing out leaflets advising against the ancient practice.

“We want to send a message to other doctors that we do not want our white coats to be stained with blood as well as to citizens that medicine refuses this practice,” Randa Fakhr El Deen, head of the NGO’s Union Against Harmful Practices on Women and Children, said. Genital cutting, in addition to potentially resulting in death, can cause chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth complications.

The practice goes back to Ancient Egypt, pre-dating the Abrahamic religions of Islam and Christianity. In fact there are mummies that have been found infibulated, while it's difficult to find holy scripture condoning the act. Genital cutting had already been legally banned back in 2008 and although numbers are declining, a 2016 study overseen by the United Nations Children's’ Fund showed that a staggering 87% of women and girls aged 15-49 had been subjected to genital mutilation. Hopefully, with campaigns like these, that number will fall even further.

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