A group of women fighting against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) have written to the United Nations (UN), with a request to officially recognise India an FGM-practising nation.
The women — who belong to a group called Speak Out On FGM — said the practice is a violation of human rights.
“We have written to the UN to mark Human Rights Day on December 10. If the UN recognises India as an FGM practising country, it will push the government to acknowledge the issue,” said Masooma Ranalvi, founder of Speak On FGM.
FGM or ‘khatna’ refers to the cutting of the labia and clitoris from the genitalia of girls. It is mainly practised by Dawoodi Bohra women in India. The World Health Organisation terms the custom ‘a violation of human rights’ and the practice is banned in many European and American countries.
“We filed a petition last year, calling for a ban on FGM. As many as 50,000 people across India have signed the petition. We are waiting for an appointment to submit the petition at the ministry of women and child development,” she added.
According to Ranavali, there are no estimates on the number of people who practice FGM as the practice is so secretive.