FGM/C in Egypt: Prevalence Rate and Prospects


The practice of FGM/C is Egypt is quite prevalent. However, recent evidence has shown that the practice is declining among girls and women of younger age. The recent 2008 Demographic Health Survey in Egypt (EDHS) reported that the FGM/C prevalence rate among women from ages 15-49 is 91.1 percent, but 74 percent among girls age 15-17. The recent report indicated that a decline is expected over the next fifteen years among girls age 15-17, reaching a level of 45 percent.

In 2006, another representative study was conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) among school girls aged 10-18 in 10 selected governorates measuring the prevalence of FGM/C among them. The study concluded that 50 percent of the girls are circumcised and that the percentage of circumcision is higher among the daughters of non-educated mothers (64.7 percent) as opposed to the daughters of women who attended university (22.3 percent).

The 2008 EDHS has also shown that a mother’s level of education, residency and economic status are important variables. For example, urban women are less likely to be circumcised than rural women (EDHS, 2000, 2005 & 2008). The likelihood of circumcision drops by education level and wealth quintile. The 2008 EDHS reports that 31 percent of girls in the highest wealth quintile are expected to be circumcised by the age of 18 compared with 73 percent of girls in the lowest wealth quintile.