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Together vs FGM
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 06 - 05 - 2010

MRS SUZANNE Mubarak, president of the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC), has declared Aswan the first anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) governorate in Egypt, Reem Leila reports. The declaration was celebrated on 2 May in the city of Daraw in Aswan and attended by Health Minister Hatem El-Gabali, Minister of State for Population and Family Affairs Mushira Khattab, Minister of Housing and Public Utilities Ahmed El-Maghrabi and Aswan Governor Mustafa El-Sayed.
During her visit to Aswan, Mrs Mubarak expressed satisfaction after laying down the foundation stone of an environmental model village designed for victims of flash floods which tore through the city earlier this year, and inaugurated a cancer medical centre after being renovated. In the speech which Mrs Mubarak delivered at the celebration marking the declaration, she said FGM was a controversial social issue "that keeps haunting young girls for the rest of their lives".
In 2005, Egypt witnessed the declaration of its first document rejecting female genital mutilation prevalent in villages, and which was adopted by a national programme. "In 2007, a serious campaign was launched to eradicate FGM practices and it even figured high on the agenda of the regional conference on fighting violence against children held in Cairo at that time," Mrs Mubarak stated.
The conference coincided with the death of Bedour, the nine-year-old girl who lost her life "due to this ugly practice," Mrs Mubarak said. These efforts were crowned in 2008 with a formal declaration by religious institutions and NGOs making clear their rejection of FGM and demanding legislation to criminalise the baneful practice, she added.

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