Good news from Egypt: the country’s parliament has passed a new child protection law that, among other wise measures, criminalises female genital mutilation and raises the legal age of marriage to 18 for both men and women. Daily News of Egypt has a long article on the subject (from back when it was still a bill with an uncertain future).

Bayoumi … says that beating hurts children physically and emotionally. The Prophet Mohamed, he added, called for a kind of reprimand that does not inflict harm or cause psychological damage.

In agreement, Refaat El Saied said that some would say they will beat their children in spite of the law. “I tell them ‘beat them so they would become retarded as you.'”

Unfortunately, male genital mutilation is still legal in Egypt too.

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  1. #1 Susan Shafarzek
    June 8, 2008

    I agree with this post in almost all respects and note the news very happily — but only want to remind that female and male genital mutilation are not identical atrocities. Even though there are good arguments against it, circumcized males continue to have pretty much full use of their sexual organs. “Circumcized” females have none, often die from infection and or childbirth. I expect you know that, just wanted to point it out.

  2. #2 Paul W.
    June 8, 2008

    From the article you linked to, it sounds like the “law” is a bill that has passed out of committee to be considered by the full parlaiment—i.e. not yet an actual law.

    Is there something newer that says the Egyptian parlaiment actually passed it? (Or perhaps I’m misunderstanding.)

  3. #3 Martin R
    June 8, 2008

    Susan, you’re right.

    Paul, sorry about the ambiguity, the bill was passed into law yesterday.

  4. #4 kai
    June 9, 2008

    “Refaat El Saied” is quoted without any introduction as if everybody should know who he is, certainly it is not the Refaat El Saied?

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