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Human Rights Watch appeals Egypt to enact new and harsher legal penalties to curb female genital mutilation (FGM) practices

"FGM is needed to curb women's sexuality " says Ilhami Agena, a lawmaker from Egypt speaking against the request

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FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2014, photo, relatives of 13-year-old Soheir al-Batea who died undergoing the procedure of female circumcision walk in front of her home in Dierb Biqtaris village, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Cairo, Egypt. Source: VOA
  • “Broader law reform is needed to adequately combat this horrific practice” says Rothna Begum from HRW
  • An estimated 90 percent of Egyptian women have undergone some form of the forced procedure
  • Ilhami Agena, a lawmaker commented on the topic saying “If women are not circumcised, they will become sexually strong and there will be a problem”

A leading international rights group on Friday called on Egypt to enact new legal penalties for the widespread practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The appeal by Human Rights Watch (HRW) came over a week after the Egyptian parliament voted in favor of toughening penalties for FGM, adopting amendments that will punish perpetrators with 15 years in prison if a child dies and up to seven years for performing the procedure.

Rothna Begum, the Middle East women’s rights researcher at HRW, said that the stricter penalties now “reflect the horrific and potentially deadly consequences of this discriminatory practice.” But she added that a “broader law reform is needed to adequately combat this horrific practice” and warned that tens of thousands of girls remain at risk.

The centuries-old practice, misguidedly believed to control women’s sexuality, was criminalized in Egypt in 2008. However, it remains widespread and an estimated 90 percent of Egyptian women have undergone some form of the forced procedure.

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Genital mutilation is practiced among both Muslims and Christians, and social pressures are strong – many families fear that an uncircumcised daughter will be unable to marry.

While the amendments passed without much resistance, a lawmaker sparked an outcry after saying in remarks published in media last week that FGM is needed to curb women’s sexuality and to counterbalance allegedly widespread male impotence in Egypt.

Ilhami Agena claimed that 64 percent of Egyptian men suffer from impotence, citing increased sales of Viagra.

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“If women are not circumcised, they will become sexually strong and there will be a problem,” an imbalance leading to divorce, he added.

In response, female activist Janet Abdel-Aleem mocked Agena, suggesting the government should subsidize Viagra instead of circumcising women. (VOA)

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Good atleast initiatives are taken by human rights watch. It’s a serious issue and should anyhow be taken care of not to carry on such practices.

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Skincare Routine for Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle

Alter your skincare regime to follow your menstrual cycle

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Menstrual cycle
There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. Pixabay

Within a 28-day cycle our complexion can change drastically; from crystal clear one minute, to pimples the next, super dry and flaky to oily and unpleasantly shiny. Whether you are a pimple popper or a diligent skincare devotee, we just cant win against the spots and zits that Aunt Flo brings in.

There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, say experts.

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To understand the cause and amp up your arsenal to fight the zits, here are the stages of a menstrual cycle and changes our body goes through:

Stage 1: The Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 5)

Menstrual cycle
You need to take special care of your skin during the first phase of your menstrual cycle. Pixabay

The first phase starts with day one of your period, and it tends to be the peak time of the month when we are most vulnerable to breakouts. During this time, our bodies start to produce excess oestrogen, which triggers the production of oil and sebum, and causes skin the main aggregators to spots. Try to battle the sluggishness of the body that accompanies during such time and take care of skin by gently exfoliating and cleansing the face, especially the T-zone, which is often the main problem area as it is the most oily, as well as our chin, and around the nose too.

Stage 2: The Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 15)

The midpoint in a woman’s cycle is when we notice our skin has become dry and flaky, in comparison to the week before, which left us feeling like a grease ball, all because our oestrogen levels have dropped.

During these 10 days our skin, and body, is crying out for some extra TLC. Say yes to hydration for repairing the skin’s barrier after a week of going through the volatility of hormones in the first phase.

Hydrating masks, deeply nourishing moisturisers, vitamin sprays, and simply drinking all the H20 will work wonders on the skin and help to achieve the desired glow.

Menstrual cycle
The last stage of your menstrual cycle gives you a glowing skin. Pixabay

Stage 3: Luteal Phase (Day 15 to 28)

In the last leg of your cycle, and the prime time to show off your radiant skin in all the selfies your camera roll can handle.

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During these two-weeks ahead of your next period your blood circulation will increase, thanks to oestrogen, which instantly leaves us looking fresh faced with a bit more colour in our cheeks. Although oestrogen will start to rise again it is not to the point where our face becomes too oily.

Also Read- Dont Buy Your Wine Without Tasting it

Our skin in this fortnight will easily absorb ingredients, which is why we still need to be mindful of what we put on our skin, and in our bodies too.

So, while you are tailoring your beauty routine, be a 10-step Korean-inspired regime or a simple CTM, try making changes keeping in mind the monthly cycle to retain the glow throughout the year. (IANS)