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Egypt Overturns Female Circumcision Ban

On Tuesday, June 24, Cairo Administrative Court Judge Abdul Aziz Hamade overturned the Health Ministry’s 1996 ban on female circumcisions. The Judge claims that the Ministry cannot forbid a practice that parliament does not consider illegal. Eight Islamic scholars and doctors challenged the decree on the grounds that it interferes with religious beliefs and physicians’ rights to perform medical duties. The ban will remain in effect, however, until the higher courts make a decision on it. Women’s and human rights groups hope the higher courts will reverse the ruling, and activists announced they will continue to try to educate parents against female genital mutilation. Cairo Attorney Mohammed Sabry said, “Illumination and educationƒwill lead to the disappearance of this tradition. But it will take some time.”

Sources:

The L.A. Times- June 25, 1997

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