An Egyptian member of Parliament has called on women to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, citing the rising sexual appetites of men largely due to the popularity of sexual enhancement supplements.
Elhamy Agina, a parliamentary representative from the Dakahlia Governate northeast of Cairo, responded to recent proposals in Egypt’s parliament aimed at curbing the practice of FGM and punishing offenders.
Egypt has the highest number of women in the Middle East and Africa who have undergone the procedure despite it being outlawed.
According to Agina, FGM “reduces a woman’s sexual appetite” and brings them in line with Egypt’s already weakened men who turn to sexual enhancement supplements to keep up with the sexual desires of their female counterparts.
“We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume,” political website Parlmany quoted Agina, adding that “If we stop FGM, we will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.”
Under a new draft law approved by Egypt’s cabinet last month and sent to the country’s House of Representatives for approval, FGM will be classified as a felony with prison sentences between five and seven years for those who carry out the procedure and as many as 15 in the event of a disability or subsequent death.
Current laws have seen offenders sentenced to prison terms as short as three months or fines as little as 1500EGP ($170).
Egypt’s cabinet approved a draft amendment to the law against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), imposing harsher punishments on the practice and considering it a felony, the health minister said on Sunday.
In January 2015, The Foreign Desk reported on the manslaughter conviction of a doctor who performed the FGM procedure that caused the death of a 13-year-old girl.
Dr. Raslan Fadl, was sentenced to two years and three months after being found guilty of causing the death of Sohair al-Bataa. Campaigners say Fadl remained free until April of this year and then served just 3 months of his sentence before being released in July.
A study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2000 found that 97 percent of married women in Egypt had undergone FGM.
As of 2013, Egypt had the highest number of women in the world who had experienced FGM at 27.2 million, according to UNICEF.
According to the World Health Organization’s guidelines issued in 2007, FGM has “no known health benefits,” and that the procedure is “harmful to girls and women in many ways.”
In 2008 the WHO issued a global strategy calling on the U.S. and international organizations to “support specific and concrete actions directed towards ending female genital mutilation.”
The WHO estimates that there are over 200 million girls who are victims of FGM, living in over 30 countries mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, defining the practice as “a violation of the human rights of girls and women.