- The wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Suzanne, is lending her prestige to a national campaign against practices harmful to women, in particular female genital mutilation (FGM).
Ms Mubarak, who is also chief of the technical committee of Egypt's National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, yesterday inaugurated the seventh international conference of the African committee for fighting harmful practices.
The four-day conference, themed "Partnership with mass media to fight harmful practices", discussed boosting partnership between the UN bodies and African non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to fight harmful practices and means to confront those harmful practices through the media.
Addressing the conference, Ms Mubarak said that another social programmes regarding the health of teenagers, girl's education initiative now had been implemented in Egypt.
The conference also discussed the current campaign to fight female genital mutilation (FGM), "one of the harmful practices that pose a threat to achieving the Millennium Development Goals," according to Egyptian government sources. In Egypt, FGM is the norm for young girls in rural areas, and only in the largest cities, campaigns against the practice have started to gain successes.
For the national campaign to stop FGM in Egypt, the high-profiled participation of Ms Mubarak provides hope for helping to spread the message among conservative rural Egyptians to stop the harmful practice. The campaign now hopes for a massive media engagement to spread the message.
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