After the Supreme Court declared triple talaq as unconstitutional, women activists have come forward to demand a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) or khatna. Young girls belonging to Bohra community have to undergo severe pain when they are subjected to genital cutting. Earlier it was considered as a taboo to discuss about genital mutilation but now women are coming forward to raise their voice against this practice. Many women activists have started an online petition to press for their demand for a ban on genital mutilation.
A group named ‘Speak out on FGM’ had started a campaign on Change.org urging the government to bring a legislation to ban genital mutilation. Many women have come forward to support the campaign. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has already started consulting various NGOs seeking their views about the abolition of female genital mutilation.
Even the National Commission for Women has supported the demand for a law to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in India. Advocate Sunita Tiwari had filed a petition with the Supreme Court for banning khatna in the country. The apex court then had sent a notice to the centre asking it to impose a complete ban on female genital mutilation and to declare it as a cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable offence. The United Nations has declared female genital mutilation as violation of human rights and wants to impose pressure on Indian government to ban this practice. According to a study carried out by Sahiyo in 2015 nearly 80 per cent of women from the Dawoodi Bohra communitys in India had faced genital mutilation.
Masooma Ranalvi, Founder WeSpeakOut said, “Yes a ban must be imposed on female genital mutilation. Since we are living in modern world and according to me khatna should be abolished in the entire world by 2030. The government should take a positive step in this regard. Khatna not only happens within Bohra community but it is practiced by Muslims in Kerala. Till now many women have associated with me to create awareness about this campaign but some of them don’t come forward as they are worried. Whenever this practice happens children have to undergo severe pain and sexual abuse. They will also have to bear mental trauma.”
Advocate Sunita Tiwari said, “We have raised this issue in public forum. So far no reply has been received from the state or centre except for Women and Chid development ministry. Women and child development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi has said that the government is planning to bring a law to put an end to female genital mutilation if the Bohra community does not end this practice voluntarily”.
Originally Posted on The Afternoon Voice: