Only one in 10 women who have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM), called Khatna by the Dawoodi Bohra community which follows the custom, said they were ‘okay’ with performing the practice on their daughter, according to an online survey conducted by Sahiyo, a non-governmental organisation that has been campaigning to end the practice. The findings of the survey were released in Mumbai on Monday.
Khatna refers to the removal of the prepuce from the genitalia of girls and is mainly practiced by communities in Africa and Asia. The World Health Organisation terms khatna as a violation of human rights. The practice is banned in many European and American countries and adults who force children to undergo the practice can be punished. Recently, a court in Sydney convicted three Bohras for the circumcision of two young girls. After this, anjumans, or community associations across the world asked their members to stop the practice.
According to Sahiyo, the results of the survey highlight that some women want to continue the practice because ‘it’s a social norm’. However, another member said, “Many of the women who have experienced Khatna did not want to continue the practice for their daughters. It shows a positive change. However, it is an online survey and had a small sample size,” said a member of Sahiyo.
As many as 400 women from across the country participated in the survey. The findings also indicated there is no relationship between the socio-economic status of women and the likelihood of them experiencing FGC because 80% of them surveyed had at least some educational qualification.