Petition seeks end to Female Genital Mutilation

Masooma Ranalvi said that mobilising the people for the cause has not been easy, but starting the petition was like opening flood gates

archana

Archana Mishra | February 7, 2017 | New Delhi


#child development   #women   #government   #UN   #petition   #khatna   #female genital mutilation   #human rights  


Masooma Ranalvi, a victim of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), has submitted a petition signed by 85,000 people to National Commission of Women against this practice.

She started Speak out on FGM, a group of Bohra women, to create awareness.  Her two petitions on Change.org appeals to the government and United Nation to end FGM.  
 
Q. Last year, you started the second petition on FGM, asking the UN to recognise India as one of the countries where FGM is still practiced. How to do you plan to take this movement forward?

The initial petition started in December 2015 appeals to the ministries like women and child development, health and law.  However, it is yet to be acknowledged. Through the second petition, we want to draw the attention of UN on FGM, so that it could lay stress on Indian government to take up the matter urgently.  FGM is a violation of human rights, a form of violence against girls and women. It is important to mobilise people against this harmful tradition. We have a multi-pronged strategy to work at the community level and to engage with law makers and women and child development ministry. 

READ: Dawoodi Bohra women are seeking to end the practice of female genital mutilation
 
Q. How difficult it has been for you to mobilise people against FGM?
 
Mobilising the people for the cause has not been an easy journey. Starting the petition was like opening flood gates.  Lot of women had a similar experience and they shared how it affected their lives.  There was a certain section who called us shameless as we discussed about the sexual parts in front of everyone. Still, we saw women coming together to support us. Some preferred keeping their identities hidden due to their fear of being ostracised from the community while many were up front. The anger is palpable now.
 
Q. What percentage of women in India go through Female Genital Mutilation?
 
Khatna is a 1,400-year old practice. At the age of seven, a portion of girl’s clitoris is cut.  This age-old custom is performed secretly to sexually curtail women, so she doesn’t become promiscuous.  Nothing has changed in all these years. 80 percent of the Bohra community girls, mainly residing in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are subjected to it.  There are an estimated one million people belonging to the Bohra community in India. There are no exact figures on the prevalent rate of this harmful traditional practice. We could roughly estimate that hundreds of thousands of girls may be subjected to or are at risk of FGM. Though the numbers are not so high in comparison to global figures, still it should be stopped in India.
 
Q. How FGM affects girls biologically and psychologically?
 
Since it is performed without any anesthesia, the girl is put through the risk of excessive bleeding, urinary infection, genital tissue swelling and other health issues. More importantly, it leaves behind a psychological scar- the betrayal of trust between mother and daughter. A seven-year-old girl is unaware of the happenings around her because the task is performed in absolute secrecy. Everything happens with deception. So, it affects the young girl’s trust on her mother.
 

Comments

 

Other News

NDA victory & Modi 2.0: The reforms agenda to be

The resounding and unprecedented mandate in favour of Narendra Modi in the 2019 general elections signals two very clear indicators: firstly, voters across India appreciate the Modi 1.0 governance, and secondly, voters across India look up to Modi to lead India into its 75th Anniversary.  

Post-Fani, people continue to live in distress

The families of Narahari Nayak and Prafulla Nayak from Durgadaspur village in Pipili area of Puri district of Odisha are sleeping on the road in the open as their houses were blown off during cyclone Fani that hit the Odisha coast on May 3. Several other families of the village who had thatched houses met

Rs 52.18 lakh spent on Vande Bharat express inaugural

Indian Railways spent Rs 52.18 lakh to organise the inaugural function of the country’s first engineless semi-high speed train Vande Bharat express. The train was flagged off by prime minister Narendra Modi from New Delhi on February 15. In an RTI reply to this reporter, the northern railwa

On a personal note: Rasika Dugal

A BSc in Mathematics and an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Rasika Dugal has acted in Hindi and Malayalam films, web series and television serials besides hosting shows. She is the recipient of the Best Actor Award at Rajasthan International Film Festival for her role in the f

Making sense of India’s elections

With highly appropriate lyrics at the start of every chapter, combined with deep insights from rigorous analysis of data – Citizen Raj is an absolute delight to read.    In Citizen Raj, Surjit Bhalla, well known economist and commentator, looks at Indian elections from

GAIL expedites Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline project work

 Stepping up the momentum for construction of the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra natural gas pipeline (JHBDPL) and Barauni – Guwahati Pipeline (BGPL) pipeline, GAIL (India) has winded up finalising awards for Rs 10,500 crore contracts for pipe supply and laying of the integrated 3,400 km-lo

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter