Egypt


FGM PREVALENCE: 87.2%

Key Findings


With an FGM prevalence of 87.2% among all women aged 15-49 in a population of nearly 95 million, Egypt has the greatest number of women and girls who have experienced FGM of any country in the world.

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Geography

There is a markedly higher prevalence among girls living in Upper Egypt than girls living in Lower Egypt and the Urban Governorates

Age

Prevalence among young girls is low, but increases dramatically from age of nine; most girls undergo the practice at or before puberty

Type

Type I and Type II are the most common types of FGM practised

Agent

Among girls aged 0-14, 78.4% of incidences of FGM are carried out by a health professional

Development Indicators


Population

95,316,705 (as at 24 May 2017), with a 2.51% growth rate (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

20 deaths per 1,000 live births (2015)

Maternal Mortality Rate

33 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015)

Literacy

73.8% of the total population aged 15 and over can read/write

Prevalence of FGM


Prevalence of FGM

Prevalence is lowest in the Urban Governorates and the urban areas of Lower Egypt.  It also appears to be low in the Frontier Governorates, but the extremely small number of surveyed women in this area means that these results should be treated with caution. FGM in the urban areas of Lower Egypt is slightly less prevalent than in the urban areas of Upper Egypt.  The majority of Egypt’s population (57.2%) lives in rural areas.

Prevalence by current place of residence may not be a telling factor, however, as a woman may have moved since undergoing FGM, particularly if she was cut at a young age. For this reason, it is more helpful to look at prevalence among young girls according to their place of residence.  In Egypt the prevalence of FGM among girls aged 1-14 is 10.4% in urban areas compared with 15.9% in rural areas. There is a markedly higher prevalence among girls living in Upper Egypt than among girls living in Lower Egypt and the Urban Governorates.

94.4% of women (aged 15-49) in the lowest wealth quintile have undergone FGM, compared to 69.8% of women in the highest wealth quintile.

Trends in FGM Prevalence


Trends in FGM Prevalence

The DHS 2014 gives a prevalence of 92.3% among (ever married) women aged 15-49, and the EHIS 2015 gives a prevalence of 87.2% among all women aged 15-49.  There has been little change between 2008 and 2015.  A more encouraging picture is presented in a secondary analysis of the DHS data on Egyptian girls aged 0-17 between 2005 and 2014, which concludes that the total percentage of girls who had already undergone FGM and those who were likely to undergo FGM before they reached 18 years of age fell from 69% to 55% in that period.  As girls are unlikely to experience FGM after the age of 17 in Egypt, this suggests that there will be a continued decline in the overall prevalence of FGM in the future.

Breaking down the most recent data by age group shows that the prevalence for women aged 45-49 is 97.1%, while for the youngest age group this has fallen to 69.6%. This further demonstrates a trend towards lower prevalences among younger women.

FGM Legislation in Egypt


The Egyptian Government passed legislation in 2008 that specifically prohibits FGM.  In September 2016, a further amendment was made (by Law No. 126 of 2016) to the Penal Code, replacing Article 242-bis and adding Article 242-bis (A), upgrading FGM from a misdemeanor to a felony.

RESEARCH & RESOURCES


Research and resources for Egypt