Female Genital Mutilation


What is Female Genital Mutilation? According to world health organisation (WHO) Female Genital Mutilation comprises of all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons or cultural reasons. Introduction

Every year, February 6 is observed as the international day of zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. It is agonising to come in terms with the fact that globally, over 200 million girls alive today have suffered FGM in over 30 countries, India being one among those countries. Although FGM is illegal in many countries, it is still practiced in parts of Africa, Asia and Middle East where women are routinely tormented by the midwives who mutilate their genitalia behind the drapes. The origin of this practice is still unknown. The reasons usually cited to justify the practices of FMG is usually social acceptance, religion, misconception about hygiene, preserving the girl’s virginity, for the purpose of marriage and enhancing male sexual pleasure. In some cultures FGM is considered as a pre-requisite for marriage. The consequences of FGM can be very detrimental to the victim’s sexual and reproductive health. Types of Female Genital Mutilation The WHO has identified four types of FGM: - TYPE I - also called clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris. TYPE II - also called excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and libra minors, with or without excision of the labia majora. TYPE III - Also called infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal through the creation of covering seal. This seal is formed by cutting and re-positioning the labia minors and/or the labia majora. TYPE IV - all other harmful procedures of the Female Genital Mutilation for non- medical purposes, for example:- pricking, piercing, incising, scrapping or cauterisation. The Indian Bohra community practices type IV procedure of Female Genital Mutilation on young girls, the community states religious reasons as the purpose of practicing FGM. Female Genital Mutilation in India In India the reasons for FGM is referred as “khafd” that includes abiding by the religious norms and traditional practices of controlling women’s sexuality. It is mostly the religious clergy that endorses the idea of practicing FGM even today in a contemporary world. FMG is largely practiced and is still prevalent in the Bohra community of India, a Shia sub sect. Bohras refer FGM as “khatna”. Girls as young as five to six year old face the excoriating physical pain and as well mental trauma that along with FGM that are practiced by untrained midwives. The women who were subjected to this inhuman practice are affected by post physical and mental distress. With so many prevalent instances that came to light in India, thanks to the perks social media has to offer, India has no stringent and significant provisions. The WHO deemed FGM as a severe violation of human rights yet FGM isn’t banned India. This ill- practice under the pretext of ‘religion’ violates their human rights, their physical integrity and their right to life if death occurs during the course of the procedure or from the consequences of FGM. Toady many survivors and victims of this practice have continue to share story and share a common goal to eradicate FGM, yet the Indian government fails to recognise the gravity of this crisis.


Conclusion

It is disturbing to accept the fact that young girls are subjected to the FGM procedures for irrational reasons, unaware about the critical environment they subjected to, they remain helpless and lack the ability express the excruciating pain they were put through and remain victims to the detrimental consequences that come along with genitalia mutilation. The Indian society still considers speaking about this cruelty is taboo which propagates further oppression, abuse and discrimination against women. The prospects of criminalising of FGM, at least in the next three years is very slim given the fact that government fails to acknowledge this as a crisis to be immediately dealt with. If the Indian government chooses to criminalise FGM tomorrow instead of today, it will take more years to implement and enforce the inhumane practice of mutilating female genitalia and eradicate the deep- rooted traditional practice.

India the reasons for FGM is referred as “khafd” that includes abiding by the religious norms and traditional practices of controlling women’s sexuality. It is mostly the religious clergy that endorses the idea of practicing FGM even today in a contemporary world. FMG is largely practiced and is still prevalent in the Bohra community of India, a Shia sub sect. Bohras refer FGM as “khatna”. Girls as young as five to six year old face the excoriating physical pain and as well mental trauma that along with FGM that are practiced by untrained midwives. The women who were subjected to this inhuman practice are affected by post physical and mental distress. With so many prevalent instances that came to light in India, thanks to the perks social media has to offer, India has no stringent and significant provisions. The WHO deemed FGM as a severe violation of human rights yet FGM isn’t banned India. This ill- practice under the pretext of ‘religion’ violates their human rights, their physical integrity and their right to life if death occurs during the course of the procedure or from the consequences of FGM. Toady many survivors and victims of this practice have continue to share story and share a common goal to eradicate FGM, yet the Indian government fails to recognise the gravity of this crisis. Conclusion It is disturbing to accept the fact that young girls are subjected to the FGM procedures for irrational reasons, unaware about the critical environment they subjected to, they remain helpless and lack the ability express the excruciating pain they were put through and remain victims to the detrimental consequences that come along with genitalia mutilation. The Indian society still considers speaking about this cruelty is taboo which propagates further oppression, abuse and discrimination against women. The prospects of criminalising of FGM, at least in the next three years is very slim given the fact that government fails to acknowledge this as a crisis to be immediately dealt with. If the Indian government chooses to criminalise FGM tomorrow instead of today, it will take more years to implement and enforce the inhumane practice of mutilating female genitalia and eradicate the deep- rooted traditional practice.

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