Lead Author: HAMDY, Ahmed
Year published: 2023

Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting (FGM/C), also known as female circumcision, is a human rights violation and is still happening to date. Every woman or girl has the right to be protected from this harmful practice. Egypt has adopted a multi-layered strategy to end FGM/C nationwide. Even though considerable progress has been made throughout the country, the practice and inequality still exist. In 2021, The Egyptian Family Health Survey results showed a decrease in the prevalence of circumcision among ever-married women, reaching about 86%, compared to 92% in the latest public estimate of the Demographic Health Survey 2015, where 87% of all women between 15 and 49 years old are circumcised, of which 42.4% reported being circumcised by a healthcare professional (HCP) compared to a reported 47% in 2021. This study aimed to assess healthcare providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices in two public hospitals in 2 governorates in Egypt using a validated questionnaire conducted among HCPs in Cairo (Urban) and Gharbia (Rural) governorates. A pre-tested questionnaire comprising 38 close-ended questions was used. The study population included 223 HCPs in Cairo and Gharbia governorates, of which 63.7% were women and 36.3% were men, with an average age of 42 years (42±5). 49.8% of the respondents are from an urban area. In the knowledge domain, the highest consequence identified was reduced sexual feelings. In attitudes, almost 63% believed that FGM/C should continue, while 65% agreed that the HCPs have a role in eliminating FGM/C. Almost 4% of our respondents have performed an FGM before, 45% had FGM in their household, and 62% would perform FGM on their daughters. HCPs’ integration within the communities allows them to play a crucial role in preventing the practice. It is of utmost importance to compensate for the gap in the curricula of medical schools through informal learning activities and continuing medical education programs for sexual and reproductive health and rights and human rights, as legislation and law enforcement alone cannot eliminate FGM/C from society.