Over the past few days, Ramadan Drama Series “Hadret El Omda” was heavily praised all across social media platforms, as it touched on an important issue that affects the majority of girls in Egypt, especially in Upper Egypt, namely, the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The main storyline follows the heroine of the series (Safia Aref Al-Fares), Singer and Actress Ruby’s character on the show, who wins the position of mayor, in one of the villages called “Tal Shaboura”, a symbolic village.
The village is divided between supporters and opponents of this young woman in her early forties assuming a position that was exclusive to men in the past.
The events display all the challenges Safia faces in a highly relatable manner. Throughout the series, many realistic social issues are discussed in detail and presented with solutions, most notably female circumcision, illegal immigration, money laundering, drug trafficking, and more.
The drama series emphasizes that Women have the right to live a life free from violence and enjoy equal rights and dignity, that is basic human rights for all human beings.
Notably, the Egyptian state is taking steady steps towards preserving women’s rights and eliminating violence against them; its goal is to empower Egyptian women as equal partners in building the nation.
According to what the government and the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics announced, separate penalties are criminalizing female circumcision for doctors and nurses, in addition to other penalties for the facility that allows such an awful act.
The scope of the criminalization was also introduced and expanded to criminalize all forms of incitement, encouragement, or lawsuit to commit that crime.
The state has issued clear laws against the act, which were highlighted on the show.
The state’s laws criminalizing FGM are as follows:
Whoever performs female circumcision shall also be punished by imprisonment for no less than 5 years. If that act results in a permanent disability, the penalty shall be rigorous imprisonment for no less than seven years. If the act leads to death, the penalty shall be rigorous imprisonment for no less than 10 years.
The penalty shall be rigorous imprisonment for no less than five years if the person who performed the circumcision referred to in the preceding paragraph was a doctor or a practitioner of the nursing profession.
If his crime results in a permanent disability, the penalty shall be rigorous imprisonment for no less than ten years. However, if the act leads to death, the penalty shall be rigorous imprisonment for no less than fifteen years and no more than twenty years.
Egypt’s government also worked on equipping 3 medical response units, “Safe Women’s Clinics” in public university hospitals.
According to the UNFPA Annual Report on FGM 2021, more than 532,000 girls were saved from undergoing FGM. However, UNFPA also estimates that there could be up to 2 M FGM cases by 2030, which could have been avoided had it not been overshadowed by the Corona pandemic.
The United Nations stressed the intolerance of female genital mutilation and considered it “An abhorrent Violation of Basic Human Rights”, as the act still poses a threat to about 4.2 M girls this year.