932: Mayar Mohamed Moussa
Died During a “Botched” Female Genital Mutilation Surgery When She was Seventeen
Born: c.1999, Most Likely Egypt
Died: May 2016, Suez Province, Egypt
Mayar’s death sparked Egypt’s second ever prosecution for an FGM crime. The first case took place in 2013, after thirteen-year-old Sohair al-Bata’a (her name has also been spelled Soheir al-Batea) also died during a medical FGM procedure. The person who performed the “procedure” was sentenced to two years and three months in prison but only served three months before being released after “reconciling” with Sohair’s family.
Mayar’s mother, who was a trained nurse, took Mayar and her twin sister both in for the operation. Mayar’s sister went first and survived the ordeal.
Mayar’s mother was one of the four charged and found guilty of Mayar’s murder. Three (including the mother) were all given a one-year suspended prison sentence (that’s what we call a “slap-on-the-wrist” children). The murderers were also fined between EYP £1,000 and EYP £5,000.
A fourth accused (a nurse) did not appear in court and was given a five-year suspended sentence and a 50,000 fine (which will be reduced if she ever appears in court).
The lawyer representing Mayar and her sister was not allowed to speak in court. They stated, “The judge did not give me a chance because [he] is sympathetic to the defendants and does not see FGM as a crime worthy of attention, in my opinion – just like any other women’s issues of sexual harassment and violence against women. I do not find that the police and the judiciary care about them,” (Quote courtesy of The Guardian, linked below).
Female Genital Mutilation has been banned in Egypt since 2008 yet experts believe 87% of women in the country are cut. Today, anyone caught performing FGM in Egypt can be sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison.
Mayar’s lawyer was hopeful for a retrial with a harsher sentenced handed down to Mayar’s killers, however it seems there haven’t been any updates on the case since 2017.
Estimates in 2016 put the number of women and girls suspected to have been cut at 200 Million. Mayar’s case was unique in that she was the oldest known girl authorities had seen undergo FGM in Egypt. The vast majority are cut when they are children, with fifteen being the previous eldest age. That fact just makes the entire practice worse, doesn’t it?