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Purpose – This study aims to detect the main factors impeding the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) efforts in Egypt post the January 25 revolution, with a special focus on the era of president El-Sisi. The purpose of this paper is to explain the reasons behind the continuation of violence against women in Egypt, namely, FGM, in light of the patriarchal structures and the state willingness to address that challenge. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilizes a qualitative methodology. The study embarks on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 23 participants who experienced FGM and nine key informants from medical, religious, political and civil society backgrounds, including a professor of pathology, a gynecologist, a diplomatic researcher in Al-Azhar, three members of parliament, a representative of the Ministry of Population, the reporter of the National Council for Women and a representative of Nazra non-governmental organization for feminist studies in Egypt. Findings – The findings reveal that FGM remains prevalent not only due to the persisting socio-cultural context that continues to embrace and reproduces gender inequalities, but also because of the insufficient political will to combat FGM and enforce the required laws. Social implications – FGM is considered one form of gender inequality perpetuated by social, cultural and economic structures. It is recognized internationally as a crime and a violation against women’s rights as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc. Although the Egyptian Government passed laws banning the practice of FGM, it continues to form a challenging problem to social workers, women activists, human rights groups and public health officials. Originality/value – Little work has been done to investigate FGM post the January 25 revolution in Egypt and identify the main factors impeding the anti-FGM efforts in Egypt. This work fills this gap and concludes with some lessons learnt to fight FGM and improve the anti-FGM efforts.