Egypt Women and Health
According to neovideogames, Egypt has made significant strides in some areas of reproductive health in recent years. In 2001, with the assistance of USAID, the Department of Health established the National Maternal Mortality Monitoring System. Available data show that the maternal mortality rate was reduced from 84/1000 in 2000 to 62.7 / 1000 in 2006. The main contributors to this were increased access to professional obstetrics and the increased prevalence of hospital births. In 2014, the maternal mortality rate in Egypt was 4.77 / 1000. The percentage of couples using birth control contraceptives has also increased, and in turn the percentage of women who are younger than 18 at birth has increased from 23.7% in 1992 to 15.8% in 2005 decreased.Contraception and family planning are supported by the Egyptian government in order to further reduce the birth rate.
However, some of the biggest problems affecting the physical and mental health of women remain female genital mutilation (FGM), as well as domestic violence and sexual harassment. FGM has been practiced in Egypt for 2000 years and justified, among other things, with the necessary taming of the sexual desire of women, aesthetic aspects and religion, although neither Islam nor Christianity prescribe this. Genital mutilation (FGM) affects all social classes in Egypt, regardless of religious affiliation. The harmful practice is widespread among both Muslim and Christian women (especially Coptic women). Although there has been a slight decrease, FGM is still very common. Currently about 87% are of girls and women aged between 15 and 49 circumcised. Most circumcisions are performed between the ages of seven and just before puberty, often on all girls of this age group from the same extended family. Three quarters of the circumcisions are performed by medical staff, the rest by a so-called “circumcision barber ” or a daya close to the family, who is traditionally responsible for both births and circumcisions.
Several studies from recent years suggest that the rate could decrease in the next few years, as many mothers and fathers, certainly as a result of numerous campaigns in recent years, expressed strong doubts in surveys about the usefulness of the practice. In 2007, both Al Azhar and Dar El Ifta ‘declared that FGM has no basis in Islam. In 2008 the state tightened the criminal law against circumcision after two girls died after being circumcised. According to a UNICEF study, around 55% of Egyptians between the ages of 15 and 49 still advocate female genital mutilation. However, 35% of men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 were clearly against FGM. Many mothers are torn. They feel mainly responsible for their daughters’ chances of getting married (the early marriage of minors is problematic in Egypt as over 15% of girls are married before their 18th birthday) and today they often no longer know whether they are better with or without circumcision.
Despite significant advances in gender equality, discriminatory laws as well as local practices and traditions limit the social, political and economic participation of women in Egypt. Several studies on violence against women have been carried out in recent years, and the results are alarming, not just in terms of the prevalence of violence but also in terms of the widespread support of gender stereotypes that justify violence by the younger generation and especially young men. For example, one study found that over 70% of married women and unmarried young men believed that a woman who does not become pregnant should be killed. More than 53% of married men and almost 40% of unmarried young women were of the same opinion. It is also frightening that young, unmarried men are far more conservative than their fathers and claim their “right” to control their sisters and wives, to dictate clothing and behavior, to restrict their freedom of movement and to demand services from them. According to the UNFPA study, more than three in five married women have been subjected to violence by their husbands. Half of them saw this violence as justified. In the above-mentioned 2007 study by Egyptian NGOs, 79% of all women surveyed said they had been exposed to one or more forms of domestic violence, usually from the husband (55%), father or brother. 6% said they had been the victim of sexual violence from a close relative. The victims came from all social and educational backgrounds. Having been exposed to one or more forms of domestic violence, usually from the husband (55%), father or brother. 6% said they had been the victim of sexual violence from a close relative. The victims came from all social and educational backgrounds. Having been exposed to one or more forms of domestic violence, usually from the husband (55%), father or brother. 6% said they had been the victim of sexual violence from a close relative. The victims came from all social and educational backgrounds.
Violence that is specifically directed against women is also a big issue in the revolution. Even under the Mubarak regime, women were subjected to attacks on their physical integrity and sexual harassment by thugs on various occasions in order to deter them from their political and social involvement, and such attacks by the security forces continued after the revolution. In March, seven women were subjected to coercive maidenhood tests and in December 2011, numerous women were targeted. Several of them were brutally knocked unconscious and some were sexually harassed. Amnesty International has published several reports on this.
The EHDR report from 2005 (published 2013) establishes a connection between violence, coercion and control of women and the depressive and other psychological disorders that are widespread among women. According to the report, 30% of Egyptian women suffer from such disorders, compared with just 12.6% of men. Problems that lead to this include forced addiction, cultural double standards in marriage and sexual relationships, gender-based violence and abuse in marriage, which 32% of women surveyed have experienced, and sexual harassment which has affected 48%. In the above-mentioned NGO study, 64% of the women surveyed stated that they had been exposed to sexual harassment in public places. 12% have been sexually harassed in the workplace, most of them educated women. Sexual harassment has been a major issue in Egypt in recent years after multiple incidents of mass harassment of women by male gangs on the street. 2018 has Amnesty International published a report on the attacks on women in Egypt. On the other hand, at the mass demonstrations during the revolution, women were almost completely safe from sexual harassment.