Egyptian MPs attempt to reverse FGM law

Hundreds of women have signed a petition to voice their concern that some members of the Egyptian parliament are trying to legalise female genital mutilation (FGM), reports France 24.

The practice has been outlawed in Egypt for the past five years after a 12-year-old girl bled to death following the procedure, but some of the country's politicians are trying to get the ban lifted.

Nourhan Refaat added her name to the protest, which is addressed to parliament and said: "It is heartbreaking to see that politicians are still having such conversations today; it feels like Egypt is stagnating and maybe even moving backwards."

Despite the current laws, Dr Hussein Gohar, gynaecologist at the Gohar's Women's Health Center in Cairo, suggested that outside the more urban areas of the country, FGM was still rampant.

The FGM ban is "totally ineffective" as many doctors across the country have continued to circumcise girls in private clinics, he added.

According to the 2008 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey, more than 90 per cent of all Egyptian women of child-bearing age have been subjected to FGM.