Female Genital Mutilation03 Jun, 2020
Female Genital Mutation, errr ….sorry what? Exactly same was my reaction when I first heard this word & I am sure most of us have the same reaction, irrespective of the religion in which its practice is a common parlance.
This word did not exist in my dictionary prior to yesterday, than after a full day digging on Internet, I came to know about the horrific existence of this practice & it takes me a while to grab my senses back, which were shaken like a pendulum, nowhere to stop.
As per UNICEF report its widely practiced in MIDDLE EAST, ASIA & Africa with approx. a figure of 200 MILLION women have gone through this excruciating pain in year 2016.
Female Genital Mutilation, also known as Female Genital Cutting & Female Circumcision is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. FGM is conducted from days after birth to puberty and beyond. In half of the countries for which national figures are available, most girls are cut before the age of five. Procedures of FGM may differ from society / ethnic group / countries but the excruciating pain of victims remains same in all cases. They include removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans; removal of the inner labia; and removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva. In this last procedure, known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid; the vagina is opened for intercourse and opened further for childbirth and to live with lot of adverse health effects depend on the type of procedure; they can include recurrent infections, difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic Painthe development of cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth, and fatal bleeding.
There are no known health benefits found till yet but not having these cuts leads to Social Exclusion.
Lets talk about the status of FGM in our very own country INDIA, wherein a bunch of individuals always busy in talking about women equality, modesty & lot more but I was really flabbergasted that no such intellectuals is enlightening us with the grim practice of this.
In India the procedure, locally known as KHAFZ, and majorly performed between the ages of 7 to 8 on the girl children. In india FGM is practised by the Dawoodi Bohra, a sect of Shia Islam the Sulemani Bohras and the Alavi Bohras, as well as some Sunni communities in Kerala, are also reported doing practice of FGM.
The spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has stated that male and female circumcision (respectively khatna and khafz) is required as "acts of religious purity"
In May 2017 a public interest litigation (PIL) case was raised in India's Supreme Court. The case was filed by Sunita Tiwari, a lawyer based in Delhi, seeking a ban on FGM in India, the petition claimed the practice violated children's rights under Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India, while an advocate (Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi - the renowned intellectual) opposing the petition argued that khafz is an essential part of the community's religion, and their right to practise the religion is protected under Articles 25 and 26, Dr Singhvi contended that FGC has the sanction of religious texts. He said this practice is an essential aspect of Islam and cannot be subjected to judicial scrutiny. When CJI asked counsel whether the practice could stand the test of constitutional morality, Dr. Singhiv said, “My sense of morality may be outraged by various things. Is this what Article 25 says? Perception of morality shall differ…if the same Article protects essentiality, the morality which it envisages cannot be deemed to run counter to this essentiality.” The petitioner had alleged that FMG or ‘khatna’ is a practice prevalent among the Dawoodi Bohra religious community of Shia sect, as it is a crime and punishable offence. His last words from his marathon speech in favor of FGM,
“This practice is an age-old tradition in this community to mark the arrival of womanhood”
Oh!! Really!! By cutting a lump of flesh from her very own body, by giving her excruciating pain for lifetime, by pushing her on the never-ending path of depression, that lump of flesh is not cut actually its choking her throat and with every single breathe she actually horrified “By the way of welcoming her womanhood”. There is lot to say or express about the post-traumatic situations emotionally and physically FGM Victims have to face.
Wherein fight to ban this practice is still on Ms. Masooma Ranalvi who herself is a victim of FGM raise the issue is a pioneering face behind India’s fight against FGM, Ranalvi, finally mustered the courage to speak out in 2015 as she came out with her story as a survivor. When the need was felt to organize for ending this practice, she along with a group of women of the Bohra community started collectively strategizing, creating campaigns and therefore, organically paved the way for the formation of WeSpeakOut. United Nation marks 6thFebruary as Zero Tolerance to FGM Day.
I urge to all of you whosoever read this article try to raise this issue via different mediums in whatever the capacity possible for you.
*Statements & info taken from different sources.