A staggering amount of married women — roughly 92 percent — have undergone female genital mutilation, according to a new survey by Egypt’s Ministry of Health. While this number has actually declined from 97 percent since the last time statistics were released in 2000, it remains disturbingly high, particularly since the practice was criminalized there in 2008. The majority of women surveyed (between 15 and 49 years old) said they underwent the practice between the ages of 9 and 12. The World Health Organization has denounced the practice, saying it “causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child.” While 30 percent of Egyptian women believe female genital mutilation should be banned altogether, more than half support the custom. It remains a deeply ingrained cultural tradition, supported (but not mandated) by religion.
Read the full story at International Business Times.