An Egyptian Teenager Died From This Terrible Illegal Surgery

Photo: Getty Images.
According to UNICEF, 70% of Egyptian girls aged 15 to 19 have undergone an FGM operation. Above, a file photo of an Egyptian girl.
A young Egyptian woman has died after undergoing an illegal female genital mutilation (FGM) surgery, according to CNN.

Mayar Mohamed Mousa, 17, reportedly died after undergoing the illegal operation to remove her external genitalia. An initial autopsy indicated that blood clotting was the likely cause of death.

Mousa's mother, a nurse at El Canal National Hospital, where the operation took place, initially denied that her daughter had undergone FGM, saying that she had been there for a different operation. The operation was discovered by a health investigator after Mousa's death. The hospital has been shut down while authorities investigate.

FGM is a cultural practice that is still fairly common in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The practice, which is intended to keep young women and girls “pure,” takes several forms, ranging in severity and complications. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), risks include severe pain, hemorrhage, infection, psychological trauma, and death. The organization stresses that there are no health benefits to having the operation.

Despite the health risks, some communities view FGM as a necessary part of raising a girl, and a requirement for marriage. “FGM is, in many communities, believed to reduce a woman's libido, and therefore believed to help her resist extramarital sexual acts,” according to WHO.

FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008, but it’s still happening there. According to UNICEF, 70% of Egyptian girls aged 15 to 19 have undergone the operation, a drop from 1985, when a full 97% of teenage girls had undergone the operation.
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