Egypt seeks tougher punishment for female genital mutilation
By Menna Zaki CAIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women's rights activists hailed the Egyptian government on Monday for advocating increased prison sentences for perpetrators of female genital mutilation (FGM) but warned that a new law could shroud the practice in greater secrecy. Egypt's cabinet on Sunday approved a bill, which must be passed by parliament to become law, imposing jail terms of up to seven years for people who perform FGM and up to three years for those who escort a girl or woman to undergo the practice. It is currently punishable in Egypt by between three months and two years in prison under a 2008 law, which was enacted after an 11-year-old girl died following an FGM procedure.
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