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

A walk down the rich history of Ayurveda

The Indic Quotient: Reclaiming Heritage through Cultural Enterprise By Kaninika Mishra Bloomsbury India, 230 pages, Rs. 499    Over the past decade, India has seen a significant rise in passion for enterprise as well as pride in her

Is China gearing up for prolonged conflict with India?

International observers will keenly watch the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee meeting next month. The central committee is the highest organ of the CCP with a mandate to execute the decision of the National Congress which is convened once every five years.   Besides economy, r

TRP-driven model bred irresponsibility: Sudhir Chaudhary

News profession is organic in nature, requires responsibility and discipline, and there is no room for mistake. To maintain high standards of accuracy you need discipline and hygiene in the newsroom. Sudhir Chaudhary, editor in chief of Zee News, Zee Business and Wion, has said that a TRP-driven business m

This Mumbai NGO empowers children with skills

When Dharmendra Pandey, a fruit-seller had to leave Mumbai after the imposition of the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, and return to his village in Uttar Pradesh, he was staring at economic uncertainties ahead. Little did he know that his 16-year-old son, Mahavir, had acquired skills that would come

Masks: Awareness: near-total, compliance: half-way

Wearing a face mask is the first line of defence against the novel coronavirus, along with maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands with soap. More than six months after the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly 90 percent of people in India have become aware of the necessity of wearing a face mask,

Covid-19: Daily recoveries cross 1 lakh mark, new cases far fewer

Is India finally gaining an upper hand over the Covid-19 pandemic? After weeks of new cases hitting 90,000-plus every day, the tide seems to be turning, as the number came down to 75,083 on Tuesday, and the recoveries were not only higher than that but crossed the 1 lakh mark too. The countr

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter