A doctor gives medical advice about female genital mutilation to a woman in Egypt, where the practice is already banned. AFP It is expected to soon be ratified by Sudan’s transitional authorities. (AFP) KHARTOUM – Hakam Ibrahim was seven when, like most Sudanese girls, she became a victim of female genital mutilation – an age-old practice decried as horrific that the post-revolution government is now banning. The practice has long been viewed, especially in rural communities, as a “rite of passage” for girls and a way to preserve their chastity. Last week, Sudan’s cabinet approved amendments to the criminal code that would punish those who perform the operation with up to three years in prison and a fine.