CAIRO: A mere 50 EGP ($6.39) is enough to pay for a procedure to mutilate the genitals of young girls in a Cairo market, an undercover investigation discovered.
In the Souq al-Goma’a (Friday Market) in al-Sayeda Aishia district, a reporter from Youm7 discovered three shops where female genital mutlation, a practice which removes part or most of a woman or girl’s external genitalia, including her clitoris, was being performed.
The practice has been illegal in Egypt since 2008.
From different areas nationwide, particularly the rural places, dozens of girls have been compulsory escorted by their parents to a big market in one of Cairo’s big districts just to buy “mutilating their genitals” for 50 EGP ($6.39).
The journalist Khaled Hussein secretly recorded five girls, aged between eight and 12 years old, who were there with their relatives outside one shop, awaiting their turn. Hussain posed as a girl’s uncle, who was asking for about a good mizayen (person who performs circumsisions) to do perform the procedure.
According to the video, the mizayen, whose name was not mentioned, confessed that he uses local anesthetics, scissors and blades to mutilate girls’ genitals inside a dark room of few meters.
“Bring her to me and everything will be done in only two minutes […] I’m working every day,” the miyazen told Hussein, assuring him that the girls go better fast and they can play with other children in the following day. The surgery cost is worth at 50 EGP, the mizayen continued.
In the same place of the souq, another mizayen refused to speak and said that the owner of the shop was not there and he traveling, although a girl was seen exiting the shop.
Al Azhar sheikh Osama al-Qusy, in an interview with Hussein, said that FGM is prohibited by Islam and some people “wrongly think, based on unauthorized evidences,” that the procedure is a religious ritual for the girl.
In May, the Egyptian Minister of Health Adel Adawy said in a conference that total of 92 percent of married Egyptian women have gone through FGM according to the 2014 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS.) He added that FGM rate in rural areas reach 95 percent, compared to 8 percent in urban cities.
In January 2014, a doctor who circumcised a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to two years in prison after the girl died of complications in 2013. The doctor had been acquitted in a previous ruling, but prosecutors appealed the sentence. The girl’s father also received a suspended three-month prison term.