Female Genital Mutilation Is A Crime - Otiko Djaba

Bibeau to announce funds to combat female genital mutilation in West Africa    
     The Canadian PressFeb. 5 2018 8:10

Bibeau to announce funds to combat female genital mutilation in West Africa The Canadian PressFeb. 5 2018 8:10

Deah is now supporting one family who are taking legal action because their daughter was forced to undergo FGM without their knowledge and died about a week later due to complications.

But after attending trainings by the government and religious leaders, "I now understand this practice is wrong and it can destroy a child's future", she said.

Closer to home, the issue of FGM/C or berkhatan is fraught with silence in Malaysia as it is intermingled with cultural and ethnic demands alongside bodily autonomy - the right to control one's own body, and bodily integrity - the right to autonomy and self-determination over one's own body - of children and women.

The lone primary hospital in Asaita, the former capital of Afar regional state, struggles to look after the women who have complications from FGM, especially during childbirth.

It calls for aligning the definition of FGM in ME with federal law. Participants said the initiative changed their opinion of what they had previously regarded as a normalised practice, and that they now have the confidence to reject it. "Nothing like this has been done before", said Masooma Ranalvi, founder, WeSpeakOut.

The study also included testimonies of survivors of FGM as well as traditional circumcisers. According to the report, 75 per cent of all women, who participated in the study sample, said their daughters were also subjected to FGM/C. Eight months ago, the WCD Ministry was all set to issue an advisory on the FGM ban to all states but they never went ahead with it.

Women who have gone through the procedure support it, too, be it as a symbol of communal identity or as a rite of passage for girls to turn into "whole women". Long-term complications can include anemia, scarring, cysts, difficulty urinating, menstrual disorders, fistulas, recurrent urinary tract infections, prolonged labour, and infertility. "While FGM was previously practised as a social custom (and not a religious matter)... it becomes a religious obligation to say unequivocally that the practice of FGM is today forbidden in Islam". "The first step is to declare it as a crime; only then will government bodies like NCRB carry out further research", said Ranalvi.

Supporters of the practice in India claim that the practice is not FGM/C because "it is just a nick on the clitoral hood, which is just useless skin".

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who released the study, asked whether the government would show the same alacrity that it did in outlawing the practice of instant divorce.

One such cutter has been quoted in the report as saying that she has performed 6,000 "khafd" in 20 years of her practice and another confessed to cutting 4,800 to 6,000 girls over 50 years. "So, usually, they end up cutting the clitoris along with the skin that covers it", Vali pointed out in the study.

Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, head of public protection, said: "Cases are not commonly reported within our force area and the majority of those that are reported come from midwives whose pregnant clients have had historical FGM in their country of birth, where it is not illegal". Canada is also engaging with other countries, United Nations organizations and non-government groups to advocate and take action to eliminate the practice. Unfortunately, few national-level studies have been conducted and published, often giving the supporters the right to cite "lack of evidence" about the impact of FGM/C in India to argue that it is not harmful.

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