Shaaban Bilal (Cairo)
Today, the Egyptian Parliament approved a bill amending some provisions of the Penal Code regarding the aggravation of the penalty for female genital mutilation to be a five-year maximum prison sentence.
The amendments approved by the Egyptian House of Representatives, during its plenary session today headed by Counselor Hanafi Jabali, included increasing the penalty for whoever performed a female circumcision to be five years. The punishment shall be temporary hard labor for a period of no less than ten years.
The amendments that the Senate completed last week and referred to the House of Representatives criminalized the behavior of every doctor or nurse practitioner who carries out the crime of circumcision, and required the court to close the private facility in which the crime was carried out, whether it was owned by the doctor who committed the crime or if its actual director knew that it was committed, and if it was licensed The period of closure shall be equal to the period of prevention from practicing the profession.
Article 242 bis of the draft penal code, which the Egyptian Parliament approved to amend: “Whoever performs a female circumcision by partially or completely removing any part of her external genitalia or inflicting injuries to those organs shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of no less than five years. That act is a permanent disability, the punishment is temporary hard labor for a period of no less than seven years, but if the act leads to death, the punishment is temporary hard labor for a period of no less than ten years.
Dr. Maya Morsi, head of the National Council for Women in Egypt, saluted the House of Representatives after it approved these amendments, confirming in an official statement that the current parliament contains the largest women’s bloc in the history of Egypt.