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Egypt's parliament on Wednesday toughened penalties for female genital mutilation, adopting amendments that punish perpetrators with up to 15 years in prison if a child dies and up to seven years for performing the procedure.The centuries-old practice, misguidedly believed to control women's sexuality, was criminalized in Egypt in 2008 . But it remains widespread in the country, where an estimated 90 percent of women have undergone some form of the forced procedure. Wednesday's vote came four days after Cabinet sent the proposed amendments to parliament. The U.N. children's agency estimates at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have undergone the procedure, with half of them in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia.
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