A 13-year-old died during a female circumcision procedure. Suhair al-Bata’a of Egypt reportedly suffered from shock and a dangerous drop in blood pressure during the procedure to remove a portion of her genitalia.
While the procedure may seem barbaric, it is customary in some communities. As explained by the World Health Organization, female circumcision is an ancient cultural tradition. For some families the procedure is purely cosmetic, for others it is expected to deter sexual activity outside of marriage.
Egypt outlawed the procedure in 2007. However, some doctors continue the practice at the request of families. Despite the medical and psychological trauma, many parents are more concerned with tradition and culture.
Suhair’s family trusted the doctor, as he previously preformed a circumcision on her sister Amira.
As reported by Al Arabia, Suhir and three other girls were having the procedure at the same time. As her family waited outside the room, the 13-year-old died during the circumcision.
Suhair’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, blames the doctor for botching the circumcision:
“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter.”
As reported by Huffington Post, Egypt formally outlawed female circumcision following the death of a 12-year-old. Among many groups and organizations the practice is now referred to as female genital mutilation.
The WHO estimates that over 100 million girls have been circumcised in Africa. Worldwide, an estimated 14 million women have experienced medical complications including infection, cysts, and complications with childbirth.
Efforts to educate African residents about the dangers of the procedure have reduced the incidence. However, some families consider circumcision as a cultural and traditional right.
The practice of circumcision of females, and males, continues to be controversial. Some believe that surgical manipulation of the genitals on female and male children is equally barbaric. Still, opposition of female circumcision is much stronger than that of males.
A 13-year-old has died during a female circumcision procedure. Her parents want the doctor held accountable. News of Suhair’s death may allow others to pause before requesting the procedure for their own children.
[Image via Wikimedia]